Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble nook v1.2 firmware out: “noticeably faster”

Barnes & Noble nook v1.2 firmware out: “noticeably faster”

An over-the-air update for the Barnes & Noble nook has begun to go out today, and according to at least one user with the updated firmware it leaves the ebook reader "noticeably faster" at loading pages, while the touchscreen interface "seems more responsive".  nook firmware v1.2 also improves the general UI of the ereader, with clearer indications as to which ebooks can be lent to others, and more ways to sort side-loaded documents.

Plastic Logic QUE official: wireless downloads, truVue e-magazines

Plastic Logic QUE official: wireless downloads, truVue e-magazines

Plastic Logic have officially unveiled their QUE ereader, and as expected they're heavily pushing their innovative touchscreen technology and flexible plastic e-paper.  In fact the QUE is not solely being positioned as an ebook reader; Plastic Logic have also given it email and calendar support, together with Outlook sync, and rather than clutter the all-plastic bezel with hardware controls the UI is 99-percent touch and gesture based.

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Barnes & Noble nook gets working browser

Barnes & Noble nook gets working browser

The Barnes & Noble nook continues to show its true colors as a curiously hackable platform rather than a mundane ebook reader, with the artful nookDevs team now having unlocked browser functionality.  The hack follows on from Pandora streaming radio, which was added to the nook yesterday, and has allowed the nookDevs team to use Twitter, access Facebook and look at other sites.

Navigation is handled by the touchscreen, with the webpage content shown on the larger E Ink panel.  Since the nook has both WiFi and 3G, it's possible to browse even outside of your regular WiFi networks; however we imagine AT&T, who Barnes & Noble partnered with to provide the cellular coverage, won't be too pleased if nook owners begin hammering their data network.

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Barnes & Noble nook cracked open, rooted

Barnes & Noble nook cracked open, rooted

The lure of Android has brought hackers to the Barnes & Noble nook like piranhas to still-kicking meat, and it turns out there's plenty of intrigue inside the ebook reader.  Over at nookDevs they've not only stripped the device to its bare circuitboards, they've also managed to root it.

Points of note include Android seemingly being loaded onto a 2GB internal microSD card - potentially a cause of sluggish OS performance - and a Samsung S3C6410 processor that's actually capable of OpenGL ES 1.1/ 2.0 among other things.  The Android install itself, meanwhile, is a generic OS 1.5 build with some B&N customization on top

What should be interesting is how the nook gets hacked, especially given the interesting hardware.  The nookDevs contributors have already figured out a way to spoof the DNS and feed content to the nook as if it came from B&N.

[via odobooks and via Twitter]

Publishers Simon & Schuster, Hachette, announce 3-4 month delay on new ebooks

Publishers Simon & Schuster, Hachette, announce 3-4 month delay on new ebooks

Taking a stand, however short-sighted, against buyer expectations of ebook pricing, publisher Simon & Schuster have announced that they will be delaying the release of ebook versions of around 35 new titles in 2010 for roughly four months after the hardback edition is put on sale.  The move is being echoed by the Hachette Book Group, who as of January 2010 will delay ebook release of "the vast majority" of its new titles for three to four months after the hardback version.  According to David Young, CEO of Hachette, the company is "doing this to preserve our industry," adding that he "can't sit back and watch years of building authors sold off at bargain-basement prices. It's about the future of the business."

Adobe push ePUB tools in “closed Kindle” smackdown

Adobe push ePUB tools in “closed Kindle” smackdown

As the ebook wars hot up, Adobe are pulling out the stops to position themselves as the better long-term alternative to the Amazon Kindle.  The company have announced that more than 100 publishers, book retailers and libraries are using their Content Server 4 software for distributing DRM-encrypted ebooks in either PDF or ePUB format, including 17 ebook reader manufacturers.  Setting Amazon's closed AZW format as used on the Kindle in their sights, Adobe's senior business development manager for digital publishing, Nick Bogaty, is quoted as saying "customers want to decide which devices they read their e-books on ... That's in direct opposition to closed approaches like the Kindle, where you don't have alternatives"

Barnes & Noble nook locator reveals which stores have demos

Barnes & Noble nook locator reveals which stores have demos

Barnes & Noble have announced in-store demo unit availability for their nook ebook reader, giving those still undecided about the dual-display device an opportunity to go hands-on before dropping $259.  However, as previously revealed, stock shortages means that only certain stores will have access to demo nook units; the retailer has set up a nook locator tool which allows you to search for the store nearest to you that's taking part.

Barnes & Noble nook review

Barnes & Noble nook review

Kindle beware: there's a new wireless-toting ebook reader on the scene. The Barnes & Noble nook packs not only the backing of a serious retailer but some interesting design and usability features like ebook loaning, dual displays and touchscreen navigation. The mere promise has been enough for holiday demand to exceed supply, but does the nook experience live up to hype? Check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.

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B&N nook sales injuction denied but court recognizes “genuine dispute” over design theft

B&N nook sales injuction denied but court recognizes “genuine dispute” over design theft

Barnes and Noble don't seem to need any assistance from Spring Design in holding up their nook ebook reader from hitting the market, but the latter's hope for an official injunction while their allegations of "misappropriated trade secrets" are worked out through the courts has been denied.  While the court documents agree that there is a "genuine dispute" about whether B&N used Spring Design's ideas or came up with the nook themselves, they're not willing to stop the dual-display ebook reader from going on sale while they figure it out.