Books, Kindles, Laptops

TechCrunch is quoting Nicholas Negroponte as saying the physical book is dead in 5 years.

The physical book is dead, according to Negroponte. He said he realizes that’s going to be hard for a lot of people to accept. But you just have to think about film and music. In the 1980s, the writing was on the wall that physical film was going to die, even though companies like Kodak were in denial. He then asked people to think about their youth with music. It was all physical then. Now everything has changed.

With Amazon selling more Kindle e-books than hardcover books, this prediction may not be that far off. In the same session during Techonomy, he also highlighted the fact the OLPC program in Peru has found that children are teaching their parents to read…

Truly transformational. But what to do with all the books? Do as Matej Krén did: build a book cell…


Interesting. CNET is reporting people will never buy computers without keyboards (iPhone, XBox, PS3, Kindle). And Silicon Alley Insider is judging the Crunchpad will fail:

The device has no local storage, and does not appear to have a slot for add-on storage like a SD card. That means you must have Internet access to do anything with it. That’s impractical in places like New York, where people spend a lot of time underground; on a plane; overseas; etc. An Apple tablet (or even a Kindle) has some functionality when it’s not connected to the Internet. The CrunchPad seems it will have none.

The device has no local apps, and only runs Web sites and Web apps. This, again, tethers you to an Internet connection for even the simplest function, like skimming an old email, reading an e-book, or looking at a to-do list. This also means that app performance will also depend on your Internet speed. While similarly priced netbooks are selling like hotcakes, they also include local storage and support for Windows apps, and we think netbook owners also spend at least some time using non-Web apps.

Apple’s marketing machine is stronger than CrunchPad’s. Most normal people are only going to buy one touchscreen tablet in the next year or two — if any. We assume Apple will find a way to make its offering seem sexier to a mass audience. For instance, syncing with iTunes so you have movies you can watch on a plane. Or reading an e-book in the subway. Plus, Apple will spend millions on its ad campaign. CrunchPad probably won’t have that option.

To be sure, there are definitely some cases where the CrunchPad would be adequate, such as goofing off on the Web from your living room couch, living on a wi-fi-blanketed college campus, etc. And if it’s really priced at $400, it’ll probably sell a bunch of units to curious Silicon Valley-types, coders and hackers, rich people, the geeks who also bought the XO educational laptop, etc.

An Apple “iPad” would be cool. With the iPhone, the concept of a touch keyboard has proven to be acceptable by many, and, I would argue, even sucked people in by its simplicity.

Kindle Advertising

Showtime, a subscription-based television channel, is not afraid to try new media and/or techniques to promote new shows. Ad Age reports they’re using Amazon’s Kindle to promote “Nurse Jackie,” a new series that starts next week:

Showtime may have finally cracked the code on using Kindle as an ad medium. Starting today the cable network is offering Kindle users a free, downloadable version of the pilot script for its new series “Nurse Jackie,” featuring Emmy Award winner and former “Sopranos” star Edie Falco.

Working with its media shop, Omnicom Group’s OMD, Showtime will use banner ads throughout and on the Kindle storefront to promote the free download, which will be available until Aug. 31. Along with cover art and a title page, the script comes with show scheduling information and a call to action urging readers to visit to watch the premiere of “Nurse Jackie.”

“We were looking at the Kindle as a new concept platform that no one has figured out,” said Jon Haber, U.S. director of OMD’s Ignition Factory. “And while there is no advertising model on it yet, we still saw it as an opportunity to use our client’s content as advertising.”

There’s also a podcast on iTunes (hat tip:

Good idea.