Barnes and Noble enters the e-book reader market

Barnes and Noble has announced the Nook, their e-book reader.

This is in direct competition to Amazon’s Kindle. It’s a very similar bit of technology, the major difference being that the B&N Nook will allow users to “share” e-books with other Nook users. It works this way. You purchase an ebook from B&N on your Nook. You like it. You think your buddy, who also has a Nook, would like it. So you can “loan” that book to said buddy. It will be available to be read on his Nook for two weeks. My bet is that this will generate a lot a ebook sales.

Now, some may argue that Amazon already owns the mind share for e-book readers, having crushed the Sony E-Reader in the market. The Kindle took off because Amazon was already seen as a major e-retailer of books and they had the ability to buy books immediately on the Kindle using mobile Internet technology. Sony wasn’t known as a book seller and they had no such “instant buy” option. The Nook has a similar broadband connection to the Kindle and B&N is seen as a major retailer of books by the public. The fact that B&N has a much larger ebook library than Amazon doesn’t hurt either.

There are two major flaws I can see with the Nook. First, the whole DRM thing. Second is that it only supports three formats, EPUB, eReader and PDF. A few more, including unencrypted Mobipocket, would be nice.

Amazon has responded, quietly, with the announcement that they will release free “Kindle software” for the PC platform, so people can read Amazon’s DRM crippled ebooks on their desktop or notebook computers. MAC and LINUX users are not supported in this release. Amazon is also selling refurbish (i.e. used) first gen Kindles for $150.

Originally published at Urbin Technology.

White House Press Pool says NO to Obama bully tactics

Kudos to the White House Press Pool for standing up on their hind legs and saying “NO” to the Obama Administration’s attempts to subvert the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Team Lightbringer tried to ban the Fox News reporter from participating in a standard Press Pool event. The other television news organizations in the pool (CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS) refused to be a part of this and would not proceed unless the entire Press Pool was part of the interview.

Allahpundit points out the disgusting level of hypocrisy shown by the Obama White House:

Decide for yourself what the most disgraceful aspect of this is. Was it the fact that Gibbs told Jake Tapper explicitly on Monday that the White House wouldn’t try to dictate to the press pool who should and shouldn’t be included — before doing precisely that? Was it Anita Dunn going out of her way to say she respects Major Garrett as a fair reporter — before the administration decided he didn’t deserve a crack here at Feinberg? Or was it the repeated insistence by Dunn and Axelrod that of course the administration will make its officials available to Fox — before pulling the plug today?

A free and unfettered press is a key element of a functional constitutional republic.  A fact that too many so-called “liberals” are sadly all to willing to ignore as long as their political enemies are the ones be oppressed.

It is also very disturbing to see the President of the United States to be more concerned with his “War” on those in the news media who dare to not march in lockstep with his agenda than the war Islamofascists have declared on America.

Update: There are sane and rational democrats who are starting to get nervous about our Dear Leader channeling the worst aspects of Nixon.