February 06, 2009

Sony's missed chance, E-books rising

Now that the smartphone market is really heating up, people are starting to wonder what the next big thing will be (hint: Palm Pre), but also looking back at what could have been. Could the ill-fated Sony PSP have been the iPhone and beaten it to the punch by simply adding a cellular radio and marketing it as a phone? Considering that it couldn't even beat the Nintendo DS, it seems unlikely.

Moving away from smartphones, books, magazines and newspapers are facing hardships like most other businesses. There seems to be a movement underway to create a new hybrid which is a cross between a real magazine a web page, using Adobe's AIR program. Sounds like a neat approach, but I'm not sure I'm wild about yet another standard and another browser plug-in that I must install.

While searching around for e-books and related information, plenty of info related to digital magazines and comic books appeared. There's always Zinio, which is a great e-magazine service -- sometimes the subscriptions are quite a bit less expensieve than the normal print editions, and you can keep the (digital) issues forever with no clutter. Nice.
There's also some tips on how to find free comic books, which includes references to the sites WOWIO and the Golden Age Comics site. There's also the Collins Compendium of Free online comic books, with links to all the major comics companies. All have comics that are no longer in the public domain and have been scanned in for people to enjoy. On the WOWIO site they also have some new comics that the publishers or creators have allowed to be posted and donwloaded for free, in an effort to get people interested. It just may work. There's issues there that caught my eye, that I never would have seen otherwise.

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