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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:11 PM
Original message
The IPad, Kindle, other digital readers and how they'll change the way we learn
Edited on Sat Jan-30-10 09:26 PM by DainBramaged
I realize now the importance of converting from paper media to digital; it's not just the MASSIVE reduction in use of natural resources for entertainment and education (unfortunately it will affect thousands of jobs in the long term that rely on the production of paper for our reading materials). It will make available books that now cost THOUSANDS to college students, and far more to public school districts for a fraction of the cost, with the added benefit of eliminating the massive backpacks (along with the related injuries) that burden students Nationwide. There is a Kindle beta download now available for PCs (it works GREAT) which helped me realize the importance of these devices. Being partially blind, he advent of digital reading media is ideal for me by allowing me to adjust the text size I am comfortable with on the screen size of my choice.

Hopefully, textbook and professional publishers will embrace the technology straight away. Eliminating gazillions of DVDs will be beneficial too. The possibilities are endless. The current generation is just scratching the surface. And as we improve solid state drive technology, the storage will only increase and get greater at far less cost.

And yes, for those who enjoy turning the pages, putting dog ears, Post-it-notes and comments in the margins, maybe this technology isn't for you. But the future is inevitable. Just like vinyl records, the books we now own will last for generations. Just a thought or two. I know it isn't about Mel Gibson or Tiger Woods or the SOTU, but just a thought.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. So, tell me--What's the iPad gonna do for me besides being a color Kindle?
So fat, the thing seems like some kinda giant iphone. I have a cell phone, a macbook pro, and an iTouch. Do I want an iPad? Or do I maybe want a kindle?
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Well, if you could consolidate your devices into one........
Edited on Sat Jan-30-10 09:34 PM by DainBramaged
I got the idea because my beautiful daughter called me yet again for money for textbooks for her upcoming semester............ her books have legitimately cost between $400 to over $1000 for new and used textbooks since her freshman year.


PS I will be getting one for her........
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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
38. You can already make your iPod Touch a Kindle
There's a free Kindle app in the App Store - download it and once you set it up, you can Whisper Sync books from Amazon directly to the device.

And it's smaller and easier (for me) to read than an overly-expensive Kindle, and the backlighting is better, too. Plus, of course, the Touch is great for music, movies, video and games. Why anyone would spend so much for a Kindle device that is nothing more than an eReader is beyond me. The Touch alone is much, much cheaper.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #38
59. Yes, I have it, along with some Gutenberg books I downloaded to it.
It's a little hard to read & page through, though. I wold prefer a larger screen.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #38
84. I didn't know this!
But then, I just got an iTouch in December and am learning. Thanks so much for pointing about this.

I like paper books. But I can see how helpful this can be for when we go camping. Non fiction would be great in this format for reading while waiting in a grocery store checkout line.

Sure, an iTouch is a small screen. But sideways it's big enough to enjoy in short sessions.

I just knew I'd be leaping into digital books even though I've resisted the format. There's a time and place for it. :hi:
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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #84
89. I was exactly like you
I like paper books, too, and I really resisted the whole eReader thing.

I've moved to a small town and the closest bookstore is 30 minutes away. It's so nice to be able to purchase and download a book into the Touch in under a minute, without driving to the store, waiting in line, and driving back. I'm so used to the Kindle app now, and like it so much, that I can't imagine actually purchasing a bound book again. And it's better for the environment so it's totally guilt-free (plus the Kindle books are cheaper).

I find the small screen pretty easy to manage. I think you'll have fun with it, and the Kindle technology is really awesome. I don't need to sync the iPod at all to get the book. Cool stuff.
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WHAT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. I'd be afraid to read in the bathtub...
other than that, I'd love to have some electronic book type device.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
46. No USB port, no camera. among other things. also, you can't multitask.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. one dropped ipad pays for a lot of books. btw college texts do not cost thousands.
most I ever paid for one several years ago was about $60 and sold that for $40 a year later so actual cost was $20.

Msongs
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, I am sorry to disagree, but advanced calculus, trigonometry
Edited on Sat Jan-30-10 09:38 PM by DainBramaged
and psych textbooks aren't cheap. I have the reciepts from the trips to Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and the college book store. On edit

I forgot about the photography and art textbooks for her 'filler' classes.
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tallahasseedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. Absolutely...
I was a Biology major and my textbooks were very expensive. My Organic book alone was over $150.
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liberal_at_heart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. You got that right
I've attended college very recently and many text books cost hundreds of dollars. My chemistry book cost $300, and that is just for one class.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
40. Sorry to break it to you but textbooks are expensive because they want them to be.
It has NOTHING to do with publishing costs. Although significant a full sized 500 page book only costs about $20 to publish.

I use to be international versions of textbooks. Same material, same everything just in black & white and softcover for 80%-90% off. The same $100 calculus book would be $16 in "international english" for use in poorer countries (many countries teach higher education in English).

Textbooks are expensive because textbook authors/publishers want them expensive. Going digital won't change that at all.

Did you ever wonder why schools switch from 9th edition of a textbook (on a subject that doesn't change like Calculus) to 10th edition. Making that used textbook wothless and forcing next class to buy new books? Simple. Too many used books means people can keep recyling them and less profit to textbook publishers.

I love digital but don't think for a second they won't simply charge $80-$150 for digital book instead of paper books.
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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #40
85. Yeah.
Textbooks are expensive because textbook authors/publishers want them expensive. Going digital won't change that at all.

You got that right, costs won't come down, but publishers will magically be more profitable. :banghead:
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Maybe not individually, but I have spent easily 1k+
every year for the past 4.5 years in college.

That said, I doubt the kindle will lower the costs much. The publishers are still going to charge whatever they want.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I think following the current model, the prices are sure to drop
especially when public schools convert to digital media over the next decade, they will demand massive price concessions from these publishers.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. high school books not cost routinely 60 or more bucks
college texts are even worse. $1000 for five classes doesn't seem totally out of line given that.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. My daughter's one trig book USED was $230 this semester
And now she's thinking about 'government service'. So much for her brilliant science career.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #19
33. that is a scandal
It is one thing for a really specialized book to be that expensive but for a trig book to be that expensive is scandalous.
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HubertHeaver Donating Member (428 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
47. I graduated college in the late '90s. My books were around
$300.00 to $500.00 per class. My son graduated college in 2007. His books were $900.00 and up per semester.

I can see where e-books could help the U.S. wrest control of textbook content from fundy-dominated Texas.
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
62. Mine were close to a $1000 after two full semesters.
Even as just a Psych major they were incredibly expensive, in the late 90's.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
73. A friend's son is attending UCF and they just sank about $1,600 into textbooks
for the first year. Over four years he is, indeed, looking at shelling out thousands.
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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
83. Wow, cheap.
I think the least I paid per semester for books when I was an undergrad was around $500. My calculus book alone was $250, but I did use it for 3 semesters, and it did require three separate problem solutions books, which ran $50 a pop. The collective 20 or so books I needed for my 'History of Latin American Indian Culture' course (requirement for my geology degree....upper division cultural context, don't ask) must've been around $180 bucks.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. While I certainly
like the idea of digital textbooks, (although, with regards to most other paper materials, I am an ardent bibliophile) I am a little wary of society's growing dependence on all things digital, electronic, and wireless. Plus, I never have really trusted the "science" put out by corporations assuring me that an ever increasing plethora of wireless devices in my home and basically everywhere I go has no adverse effect on my health.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I do not disagree, I wonder if my two brain tumors are the result of cell phone usage
since the early 90's......
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Like most everyone else, I use a cell phone
However, I do use it sparingly and only when I absolutely need to. But I usually take some precautions, turning it off when not in use, turning the battery side away from my body when in my pocket, etc. When I really want to chat with someone, I use my land line.

It just bothers me immensely when you see so many people using all these devices for such extended periods of time. Even young children, despite the fact that advisory precaution suggests not using such devices until at least 18 years old. Oh, but don't worry, it's perfectly safe, they say. "They" meaning biased paid research made by the corporation making the product.

I'm just saying people should be more wary and less so easily trusting of new technology and how its marketed or even the latest "scientific" research on the product. I mean, once upon a time, asbestos insulated pajamas were considered a godsend for worry wort parents. :eyes:
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #13
63. If radio waves are dangerous they you are fucked anyways.
The radio signal between that kids cellphone and the tower is hitting you, along with couple thousand other all the time every second of every day. Plus TV signals, radio signals, sat signals, gps signals, cellular data signals, microwave relay signals, wifi, blutooth, etc.

It isn't like if you don't use them you get this bubble of radio free zone around you.

If you use them or not they are they and you are getting hit by literally thousands of radio sources this very second.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #63
67. Of course
we get battered with radio signals every day, but there are some that are more potent than others. I mean, come on, wearing a blue tooth is practically the same as sticking a microwave against your head and walking around with it like boom box.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #67
74. Well that would only be true if the intensity of blutooth headseat was same as a microwave oven.
Which it isn't.

Hate to break it to you but the return signal from cellphone tower is a magnitude more powerful (like 1000x the intensity) and it blankets everything within range.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #74
81. So I am supposed to just
resign myself to the fact that I will probably get cancer sometime down the road from all these radio waves? Should I just keep sticking blue tooths and cell phones in my ears and mac books and ipads on my lap and just say Que sera, sera? Or I can be proactive and make some attempt, no matter how vain it might be, to limit the amount of radio signals and electronic pulses battering my body.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. I'm more concered about digital rights and ownership.
Edited on Sat Jan-30-10 10:08 PM by tinrobot
Amazon already deleted Orwell's "1984" off of a bunch of Kindles. If they did it once, they can do it again.

I'd also be very concerned about transferring digital books to new devices when the old devices die or become obsolete.

I understand books are made of dead trees and thus aren't that great for the environment, but at least once I've bought a book, it's mine forever.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. I agree, it is an issue tat concerns me too
The lack of a USB port on the IPad disturbs me.....
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. That's a great point you made
that I forgot to mention. That is why I much rather prefer the permanence you get with a physical book.

Plus, how ironic that they involuntarily deleted "1984" :sarcasm:
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. Why did they delete 1984?
What's the background story? I guess I missed it..
thanks..
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. Here's the article
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #22
42. Those are exactly my concerns. If I pay for a book (or music, or movie) I want it to be mine...
Edited on Sat Jan-30-10 11:37 PM by Hekate
I don't want to have just rented the rights to some digitized cloud-world that will go poof! when the "real" owner decides to make it so, or when new technology renders further use obsolete. Printed matter that has a limited lifespan, like newspapers and most magazines, would be more suitable to Kindle than books, imo.

That ONE story about the recall of "1984" put me off buying a Kindle for the foreseeable future. When I first heard about the device I thought it was my science fiction dream-come-true.

My personal library runs to many hundreds of books, and they do eat up a lot of space in my home. But once having paid for them, I can do anything I want except plagiarize the contents. Loan them, give them away, sell them at a garage sale, donate them to the annual Planned Parenthood Book Sale, will them to my graduate school's library ....

Absolutely none of this is possible with Kindle books, or even legal. How, pray tell, is that ownership?

Hekate

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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 03:09 AM
Response to Reply #22
49. +1 nt
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #22
72. Trees are a renewable resource and paper is environmentally friendly
Whereas pretty much everything that is involved in the production and manufacture of computer parts is toxic and unsustainable.
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
9. E-books are too expensive imo
I don't feel like spending 300 dollars for a device that will most likely be outdated in 6 months, just so I can buy books for roughly the same price as their physical counterparts.

Certainly would not buy an iPad as an e-reader.

It would be convenient to have all of my textbooks on one device, but somehow I don't see them being much cheaper.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. This is early in the technology curve, I see massive price drops
just like any other technology in the near term. I saw a JVC Blu-Ray player this weekend for $119. The 2GB thumb drive in my pocket cost $6. 5 years ago, it cost $70.....
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. The readers will probably drop in price
and they will probably improve. That is why I'm waiting before seriously considering purchasing one.

However, I see no reason to believe these devices will lower the price of books. The books already available are still in the same price range, maybe a couple of dollars cheaper. A couple of dollars won't make a difference when talking about textbooks which are often over a hundred dollars each.

Texts are only so expensive because they publishers know the students have no choice but to buy them. This will not change.
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Clovis Sangrail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
10. that's the dream at least
the reality is what Amazon charges for Kindle books is *not cheap.
Consider that you can usually buy new paperbacks for ~ $7.99(_way_ less if you buy used) and Kindle books are usually $9.99 or more.

I think there are some great things about the Kindle (we've got one) but I don't see them as paving the way for open/cheaper access to books - especially textbooks.

Right now most students that need to purchase $1000 of text books will go through resellers to purchase a good chunk of them used at a fraction of $1000.
Let say they paid $700 for a mix of new and used books.
When they finish the class they will turn around and sell the books back to one of the bookstores at something less than what they paid for them.
They'd likely only get $200 for them ... so they really paid $500 for the books they needed.

Electronic books have DRM (digital rights management) so they can restrict copies and resale.

If the electronic versions of those same textbooks cost $900 rather than $1000 that's a good deal for those that buy all of their textbooks new and don't sell their books back (not many people). For everybody else it's more like a $400 *increase because it's unlikely they are able to resell those DRM locked digital textbooks.

I can see how digital textbooks *could be good but I don't think they *will be good.
I think they'll be a way to squeeze more money out of people who already are having a hard time.
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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. ITunes didn't make music cheaper.
Every single time I've compared the price of a CD v. downloading it from ITunes I've been able to find the CD brand new for cheaper.

I still own an IPod and IPhone so I'm not anti-technology but it's wishful thinking to believe it will lower costs. Text books are expensive because the companies know they can get away with it. Every year they come up with updated editions and 99+% of the time they don't change anything except a couple of minor questions of the hair color of somebody in a story.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. I don't buy CDs I buy individual songs (not from Apple)
I have an MP3 player by Creative. And it's not wishful thinking, the public is proving that mroe than $10 for a digital book is not an acceptable price. Yes, jobs will be dramatically affected. The more I think about it, the more I realize it's not just the paper mills, it's the sawmills, tucking companies, chemicals used and energy wasted to create those paper books and magazines, that only about 60% of are recycled. Entire industries will be affected.

But it's progress. DO not fear progress.
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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. The same public that won't pay more than $10 for a digital book could find a cheaper paperback.
I don't fear "progress" but I know it doesn't come cheap.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Convenience, the one key word for this technology.
All of your visual media in one place everyday........The Enquirer, The NY Times, Playboy, Scientific American, business periodicals, the Bible........and trashy paperbacks.
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liberal_at_heart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
39. My husband hates Apple
We bought an MP3 player that would work with Napster. I could see him buying a Kindle but doubt he would buy a iPad.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
69. I buy CDs if I want the artist. If I want just individual songs, I download.
Edited on Sun Jan-31-10 01:14 PM by tonysam
Downloading is a piss-poor substitute for collecting music from an artist. Ripping off a CD from downloads is inferior to having official CD pressings of music.

I think younger people are being scammed big time thinking they are getting something by downloading, but they are really getting nothing at all.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
20. Are there eBook readers for regular computers/laptops?
If I'm going to carry one thing around, it would be a laptop. An eBook reader is just an extra device I really don't need.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Kindle for PC's on Amazon, it's wonderful.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. The remind me why I need a Kindle or an iPad.
I really only need to haul one screen around with me.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. You bet, but what if you don't need a laptop or even a netbook?
This fills the need for people like my sister, who are not comfortable with computers and charging the battery and the weight...
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Bryn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #23
94. Will it work for Netbooks?
I just ordered Dell Netbook. It's smaller and lighter than a regular laptop.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
26. We haven't even talked about one of the REAL benefits of e-texts
It will end Texas' control on the schoolbook market.

In the current paper-based textbook market, they can't afford to produce two different versions of a textbook--one for Texas, one for everyone else. Therefore, all textbooks are written to meet the standards of the Texas Board of Education. If the fundamentalist Republicans who run that group decide they want the children of Texas to learn the earth is 6000 years old, the moon is made of green cheese and there were unicorns, that's what will be in every textbook in America.

In an e-text market, they can write one book for Texas, a different book for the rest of the United States, distill them to PDF and sell both.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. SHIT, great point.................
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #26
45. Now, THAT would be good. nt
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
32. Not sure that this is a good step
What is the ecological trade off of replacing recyclable, biodegradable, renewable paper with tons of plastic and heavy metals?

Not to mention that once we go to digitized books we're going to be constantly paying for upgrades, new machines, new batteries, etc. Will the economic trade off actually be a better one? After all, this is a money making proposition.

Oh, electronic screens are fairly hard on the eyes. What will long term exposure do? A boon for ophthalmologists.

And yes, books, unlike Kindles and such, will remain functional for hundreds of years. Historians are already warning of the record crisis that is looming. Much of our recorded history could be lost in the electronic ether, poof, gone. There is already trouble accessing various primary documents from a quarter century ago since the functioning machines that would read the various media are few and far between, and the media itself is disintegrating as the bits and bytes are of disks and CD's lose integrity and cohesion, gone forever. We could become an invisible era to future archaeologists and historians.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #32
57. eink isn't hard on the eyes at all.
reading on an LCD screen (laptop, computer, ipad, etc) is rough however eink is something you have to see to believe. It is non reflective, and has no backlight. It no harder to read than paper is.
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liberal_at_heart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
34. My husband is legally blind and he is a technology junkie.
It's amazing how much technology has helped the disabled. My husband works from home on his pc and uses ZoomText software. We just got a new high def digital video camera. He is having a blast downloading the videos and editing them, adding music and stuff like that. We haven't gotten a Kindle yet but will look into it. Right now he listens to books on cd but not all books that are published are put on cd.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #34
50. I work with blind IT folk via phone
Edited on Sun Jan-31-10 04:00 AM by Skittles
I'm amazed at how the voice technology has evolved - they hear stuff faster than I can read it :D
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bik0 Donating Member (429 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
35. Cuban: iPad will change how kids grow up
Once price drops, every household with children will have an iPad
By Mark Cuban
msnbc.com contributor
updated 4:41 p.m. ET, Sat., Jan. 30, 2010

I cant wait to get my hands on the iPad. Its going to be a huge hit.

You can book it right now that it will be the product that kids of this generation grow up with and look back on with affection just like we did with the first video games. Video games changed how we grew up. The iPad will change how kids today grow up.

Apple was brilliant in how they cultivated apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. With so many apps for kids, any parent with young kids and either of these two devices will tell you that their kids use and love them. In fact, it was this very reason that I helped create Puzzle Palace for the iPhone. It allows my kids to take the pictures they take and turn them into puzzles. My 3-year-old loves it.

The iPad will take this to the next level. I recognize that its very expensive for most families right now. Hopefully that will change over time. If it does, you can bet every home with kids will have an iPad. And the first person to create the kid proof covering will make money as well. (Hint to entrepreneurs.) On the flipside, the minute these devices hit critical mass in families, the DVD market for kids, who watch the same movie over and over will end as we know it. Download Scooby-Doo one time and the need to hassle with all those DVDs for the kids at home or on trips becomes a distant memory. A relic of an older generation.

Thats big.

Whats also big is the exclusion of Flash. The reason is obvious. No flash, far less streaming over 3G. Less streaming over 3G means less bandwidth consumed. Less bandwidth consumed means AT&T can offer a great price on the 3G data service. I personally have never had problems with the AT&T network. The limits on 3G streaming probably mean I won't going forward either. Thats a good thing.

Its big that there is no USB port. As a content producer that's not a good thing. It means that Apple wants to force us through iTunes to sell content. It will be the path of least resistance for consumers to add content to the iPad and a huge source of revenue for Apple. I'm sure there will be work-around alternatives, but they won't be able to match the simplicity of the iTunes Store.

Outside the Apple universe, the company that should be licking its chops is Dish Network. Their Slingbox product just became a grand slam. I absolutely love the Slingbox app I run on my iPod Touch to watch NBA League Pass games, HDNet in hotel rooms and other shows that I record on my DVR. I can't wait to put it on the iPad and its big screen.

And finally, if i was just out of school and fluent in all things Wi-Fi, networking and wireless, I would immediately go door to door offering to fine tune your homes wireless network. With new HDTVs coming out with Wi-Fi, the iPad, Slingbox, Netflix streaming and other applications consuming tons of bandwidth in the home, it is an absolute certainty that 99 percent of home networks can be improved and perform significantly better. Be that kid in your neighborhood that comes in and fine tunes everyones Wi-Fi in their home for 50 or 100 bucks (or more if you live in a fancy part of town) and you will make some good money.

Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and is chairman of the HDTV cable network HDNet. This article first appeared on his weblog blog maverick.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35161216/ns/technology_and_...
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Except the iPad doesn't support "Pat the Bunny"
..an essential book for every growing child.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #37
52. "What about 'My Pet Goat?' Smirk." - xCommander AWOL (R)
Edited on Sun Jan-31-10 07:50 AM by SpiralHawk
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #52
93. Fortunately for "W".. sensors in the iPad will keep the eBook version oriented correctly
even if he holds the iPad upside down...

:rofl:
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
41. I'm sure that students will still be forced to pay thousands of dollars for textbooks
(hundreds apiece) plus they won't be able to sell "used" copies. The benefit to the environment is certainly a huge plus though. Also; textbooks could evolve to contain video and interactive displays. Imagine turning a page and not just reading about one of Dr.King's speeches, but hearing it and watching it. Not just reading about the Vietnam war, but watching the bombs fall, the protests, the casualties being treated...they could be like Harry Potter's "Daily Howler" with film clips and audio sprinkled throughout.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #41
53. That was what I thought about too. The MSNBC article is great
It will revoloutinize education.
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rebecca_herman Donating Member (494 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
43. Eh, no thanks...
I like video games, I like MP3s cause they allow me to buy just the song I want, but ebooks? No thanks. I find the devices unpleasant to hold and read from, and I've had many computers and so on fail over the years and have to be replaced. I'd much rather curl up in bed with a good paper book that I know I'll have forever even if the newest piece of technology breaks. Besides, paper books look nicer. I have quite the library and love seeing my books lined up on my bookcase.
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
44. Sorry, when I buy a book, it stays bought. I can keep it or give it away or even resell it if I
want.

Finding out that a publisher or digital book seller can reach into my digital book storage unit and take back the digital book I paid for means I don't want that technology.

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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 02:46 AM
Response to Original message
48. Ripped from the headlines.....
Edited on Sun Jan-31-10 02:56 AM by robdogbucky
this story from today describes the fact that Amazon had been keeping the price of books low on their Kindle. The "market forces," will take over now.

Seems now with Apple's Ipad, and MacMillan's dissatisfaction at Amazon shackling them on price, that artificially low price for e-books may be a thing of the past.


Amazon pulls Macmillan publications from the Kindle over price dispute
January 30, 2010

It what might be the first sign of Amazon feeling the pinch of the iPad, the major ecommerce site has pulled publications from Macmillan from the Kindle store in what is being described as a dispute over prices.

Amazon has long raised the ire of book publishers by demanding that the prices for e-books be kept at $9.99 and lower for publication on its popular Kindle e-reader. There have been rumors that the book publishers have wanted the prices higher, but Amazon has insisted on this price if the books were to be made available on its platform.

After the announcement of Apples iPad on Wednesday, which features an e-book reader and store, it seems at least one publisher has been motivated to tell Amazon how unhappy it is. According to a source speaking to The New York Times under the guarantee of anonymity, Macmillan, one of the largest book publishers in the country, has been pushing Amazon to raise the average price of e-books to around $15. Unlike the situation on the Kindle, Apple is allowing publishers to set their own prices for their books that will be sold on the iPad, so this is sure to be a point we will be hearing more and more about in the coming weeks and months.

There is no word on what the current situation is between Amazon and Macmillan, or what it will take for those books to return to the store. At this point I would imagine this is going to be harder on Amazon than it will be on the publisher. If it becomes a fight between Apple and Amazon based on who offers the wider selection of books, having Macmillan on your device could be a deciding factor.

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2010/01/30/amazon-... /


Reminds me of how we all got used to using an ATM card for free, then voila! one day there were surcharges every time you use it.

I wonder how long it will be before the prices for a new hardback and an electronic version are the same.

Inevitable, no?



Just my dos centavos

robdogbucky
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #48
54. But just like Apple wanting song prices at 99 cents, Amazon realizes the
price point of $9.99 makes the digital book attractive. My girlfriend bought a discounted hardcover for $14.12, original list $29.95. Why should the e-version cost the same? I can rent the digital version of a movie from my cable company for $4.99 instead of buying it, why not set up a rental (AKA Netflix) format for e-books too?
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 04:55 AM
Response to Original message
51. Ink, paper and transportation are just a tiny part of the cost of a textbook.
It will make very little difference to cost.

Surveys of university students who have been using e-texts show that the vast majority would prefer a low-cost textbook to a FREE e-text.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
55. Textbooks could be Open Source and Creative Commons licensed.
Classroom teachers with appropriate educational backgrounds who actually use these texts could be paid additional salary to update and maintain them.

These textbooks would be free to everyone, anywhere, worldwide.

A state like California could easily support such a program at less cost then it now spends on paper textbooks.

Unfortunately the textbook companies are deeply entrenched in the current political system.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
56. On the downside: It'll be much easier to change "history."
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
58. What happened to Project Origami?
Microsoft created quite a buzz about this a few years back. Looks like they got left in the dust.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. MS has a tendency to be overwhelmed by everyone
They just don't care about the needs of the consumer. MS Office 2007 is a perfect example. It simply sucks compared to 2003. And they don't understand the relationship of hardware to people.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #60
61. Office 2007 is amazing for those who know how to use it.
Not only that Microsoft finally supports an open standard for file formats and has reasonable pricing (Office 2007 Home & Student is $99 and sometimes on sale for less than that).

What is not to like? Ribbon interface? GUI improve over time. If not we would still be using pure text editors with keyboard commands.

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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #61
64. Office '10 is going to be even better...
especially if they open up remote-hosted SharePoint community along with it. It would put Google Docs/Google Wave to shame for a collaboration platform
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #61
65. I agree. It has some amazing features... But DAMN! Why did they make it sooooo hard to use?
And where the heck is the EDIT tab? I like that feature where I can undo what I just did. On Office 2003 and Microsoft Works word processor, all I have to do is right click and the "undo" tab pops up.

I need a college level course just to figure out where everything is.
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
66. There is amazing potential here
and some issues that will need to be addressed.

As you note, these have great potential for storing and using numerous copies of textbooks on one easy device. And both the hardware and software have great capability (and the potential for even better) for adaptive usage. Some of the e-readers will even support multimedia in the text such as interactive quizzes embedded in the appropriate section.

Implemented correctly, these can show the best of universal design and how everyone can benefit from additional accessibility. Zooming is a great example of that, as is text-to speech (TTS) and with the iPad, the potential availability of many helpful apps, such as Dragon Dictation and Search for speech recognition, etc. There's also potential for other helpful specialized assistive tech such as Proloquo2Go, an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) application. Having all this available on one easy to use, portable device would be a huge step in the right direction, especially IF they will function together.


As others have noted, Kindle grabbing back "1984" illustrated some of the issues with DRM. And at this point, Amazon also went the wrong direction in that by restricting usage of its already available TTS to the publisher's whim, rather than making it always available. Amazon also need to address the accessibility of the device itself for . For more on that,
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/doj_settles_kind...
That's all readily achievable and from what I've read, eInk sounds like a great technology.

The format situation right now makes the Betamax/VHS look mild. There are numerous ereader formats out there and many of them only work with their particular brand of DRM. And some restrict functionality, particularly TTS, because of the implementation of the DRM. Copyrighted books are tied to the format, software and, in some cases, hardware. And that could cause issues, especially as some formats die out. Will people then lose access to the books they purchased? I think it's likely in some cases and that's not good.

Apple's adoption of EPUB sounds interesting since it's open source and there are already tons of public domain texts on it.
http://www.epubbooks.com / is just one site that has those. http://www.teleread.org/free-ebooks / does too and there you start to see that these are in numerous formats.
(My favorite site for searching for etext and audio is still archive.org, since it provides results from the many, many different sources and tells you what format(s) are available. Even pops up an onscreen audio player for results from Librivox, an audio Gutenberg-like project.)

And it looks like Google is conducting its massive scanning of books in EPUB, so hopefully those should be available for use on the iPad. Apple started off well in the accessibility zone since the iPad will have Voiceover (its built-in screenreader), zoom and a few other features and more should be available through apps.
Good 1st look at those features here: http://atmac.org/accessibility-and-the-ipad-first-impre... /
The question will be whether they allow complete use of Voiceover or not with DRM books.

And what will shake out with the competing formats?
Just the other day, I saw some info on the Blio eReader, which Kurzweil (the guy who created the gold standard for text-to-speech) is readying for launch. He's taking the free software reader approach and it sounds innovative and he's a guy who really gets accessibility and universal design. But this again brings up format, being yet another format and program. http://blioreader.com /





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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #66
70. The OP is total bullshit hype
NOTHING can replace the tangible. NOTHING. It's telling people to make do with less.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #70
75. Whatever. I guess you still ride a horse and pick up road apples
when your horse drops them in front of your neighbor's houses.......

And PS, I'm not hyping anything, just grasping reality.
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #70
87. I don't think it's hype
This change has been coming and this looks like the year it really takes off.

As I noted above, I think some of that will be positive and some won't. At this early stage, I think it's important to encourage what can be the most positive, such as greater accessibility, and to push back on areas that are problematic, such as how DRM is being implemented.

Just today there was a column in the Seattle Times on some of the negative impact and that saddens me since bookstores are as much fantastic community centers as places of commerce:
"Bookstores may have to turn page"
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/201...
Russell runs City Books, a 20-year-old store on First Hill she's owned for the past 12. She sells books to Pill Hill hospital workers, patients looking to pass the time and folks who live in senior care nearby. It's been a rich book-buying neighborhood, she says.

But with the invention of Amazon, then digital books and now the recession, sales have been flat or trending down for years.

This month, though, they fell off a cliff. Down an astonishing 60 percent compared with last January. Which was no flush month itself.

"I'm in dire straits," Russell said, cradling her last copy of J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" that a caller wanted put on hold. "It's not that people aren't reading they are. But there are obviously forces out there bigger than I am."




I love curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee and don't think that digital devices will replicate that experience fully or replace it entirely. And I will still do just that, frequently. But I do think there is great potential for certain benefit here and the change is already occurring. And we need to help shape that change for the positive as much as we can.




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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
68. I am NOT giving up books, DVDs, CDs, and anything else
because of phony environmental concerns. Do you really want to do nothing but RENT stuff which you used to OWN? NOT ME, and I am tired of being force-fed getting everything virtual.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #68
76. Phony environmental concerns????
I sort of knew the daggers would come out.........


Now, everyone knows that the paper manufacturing process is one of the most environmentally UN-friendly industries there is. Besides the vast numbers of trees that are destroyed in order to make paper, the amount of pollution created is enormous. It always seems odd to me, considering how simple and harmless paper is.

Chlorine
One of the biggest sources of pollution in the pulp-to-paper process, is the chlorine used to bleach the paper. Ironically, this bleaching is the most unnecessary of steps, in my opinion. How important is it that our paper products are bright and shiny white? Oxygen or ozone bleaching is much safer and produces much less pollution than bleaching done with chlorine. Unfortunately, these methods are still not being adopted by North American paper manufacturers. So when choosing products, not only should you buy recycled, try to find either unbleached or oxygen bleached products.

Sulfur Dioxide
Sulfur-based compounds are used in the bleaching process, as well as to break down the sturdy fibers of the wood pulp. Sulfur dioxide is produced and released as exhaust from the mill. On top of that, paper mills produce sulfur dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels (large mills often have their own internal power plants). Sulfur dioxide is of particular concern because it is water soluble and is a major cause of acid rain.

Dioxins
Dioxins are organic chemicals, much like the pesticide DDT, and considered by some to be the most toxic man-made chemical there is. Dioxin produced by the paper industry is a by-product of the chlorine and chlorine-based bleaching process. As mentioned above, unbleached or non-chlorine bleached paper is the environmental alternative.

Hydrogen Sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide is one of the gases that give pulp and paper mills their characteristic aroma. It has an unmistakable smell of rotten eggs. It is produced during the cooking of the pulp, to help break down the fibers.

These are just a few examples of the pollution that comes from the paper manufacturing process. Other pollutants include: carbon monoxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, mercury, nitrates, methanol, benzene and more. These chemicals are released into the air and water from most paper mills.

Keep this toxic list in mind when shopping for your paper products. Buy recycled and un-bleached as often as you can. Even better, use non-paper alternatives.


http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19308.asp
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. Do you have any idea what computers are made out of?
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #77
78. (sigh) no, is it fairy dust and puppy dog tails?
:eyes:
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #78
79. Let's take a look at LCD screens
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. So we should stop progress and go back to the stone age?
Listen, as with most advances in technology, there will be people who refuse to accept the advantages offered, or the convenience.

To each his own.



:beer:
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #80
82. No. That is a false dichotomy. All I am saying is that technology is not the answer
Edited on Sun Jan-31-10 01:56 PM by anonymous171
Want to decrease the price of textbooks? Then, do not, under any circumstances, sell textbooks back to the University. It's the used book market that is hiking the price, not the medium. Tech is fun and cool, but it is never the solution to any real non-logistical problems.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
71. PSST-Textbooks are expensive because of University bookstores
Not because they are inherently expensive.


Also, e-text books are already worse than real ones. Publishers have implemented all sorts of ridiculous policies (like e-textbooks that automatically self-destruct after a couple of months) in order to combat file sharing.
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fishbulb703 Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #71
86. No, it is professor-publisher deals, not the bookstores.
I go to a really big University with lots of competing bookstores. The books still cost several hundred a semester. I have had a professor who cost me 15 for a textboox, because he wrote it himself intending to not make money from it but to help his students.

I do agree that e-texts are routinely worse and just as expensive. A complete transition to a digital medium won't change that.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #86
88. Time will tell............
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. Time has decided.
Calculus 9th edition.
US edition $127.99
International English edition: $23.99

Same exact books except one is sold overseas and is on slightly crappier paper, and is softcover.

Textbooks are expensive because it is a massive highly profitable business.

Raw material has nothing to do with it. If so then a copy of windows 7 would be $0.35 (duplication cost) or latest mp3 would be $0.02.

Textbook manufacturers have a massive racket. They replace already perfect textbooks with newer versions to cut out used book market and keep profits high. I remember reading an article where they compared the 9th edition of a textbooks with 10th. It was identical except for changes on less than 1% of pages and they re-ordered the book and re-ordered the homework problems. It didn't make the curriculum better but it did make the 9th edition obsolete and next class all bought new copies of 10th edition at 500% markup.

Digital books will change a lot of things but price of textbooks isn't one of them. If schools/publishers wanted to average textbook could be $30 - $50 and they still would make millions in profit. They want more and when high education costs $40K a couple thousand more is just a rounding error.




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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
92. In other news..scientists unveil new cellulose based reader technology
It never needs batteries, is impervious to damage due to dropping or electrostatic discharge, is far more cost effective than current electronic reading devices, not subject to software bugs or computer viruses, and can be operated safely by small children:



:rofl:

This whole "digital book" thing folks is about making books unavailable to people unless they can pay for them at BarnesandNoble.com. It allows them to encrypt them and keep them out of public libraries through "digital rights management". Boycott them and buy a REAL book or borrow one from your public library instead.
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #92
95. You pretty much said what I wanted to say
that and... I could never read half what I do if it were all on a computer screen. It plays hell with my eyes just working with one all day. :(
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-02-10 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #92
96. And before the telegraph what was the best way to communicate?
And how long did it take to go from NYC to Los Angeles?


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