You lease ebooks from Amazon, you don’t buy them.

I came to the conclusion a while ago that you don’t buy ebooks from Amazon, you are only leasing them.

First off, the highly restrictive Amazon DRM not only limits access to the ebook to their proprietary Kindle device, it restricts it to your specific device. Once you are done with the ebook, you can loan it to friend or sell it at used book store. If you want your friend to read the book, you have to give them your Kindle, because that is the only place that ebook will be displayed.

Second, Amazon doesn’t pay it’s associates a fee for any Kindle books “sold” through them. Why not? They pay the associates for just about everything else sold through their sites. Could it be that Kindle owners really are not “buying” the ebooks, but are just paying for a very restrictive lease in order to access the ebook?

Next, Megan McArdle just discovered a catch in the Amazon ebook fine print.

…there is always a limit to the number of times you can download a given book. Sometimes, he said, it’s five or six times but at other times it may only be once or twice. And, here’s the kicker folks, once you reach the cap you need to repurchase the book if you want to download it again.

I know people who buy paper books in both hardcover and paperback, but that is a different scenario. You have two separate versions of the book in different formats. One for the shelf and one to carry around and load to friends. Amazon wants its customers to buy the exact same content, in the exact same format, multiple times, because their business model assumes that their paying customer are thieves.

That is not a consumer friendly business model.

Also posted at the Urbin Report.

Update:  July 2011.  I’ve noticed for the past several months that I’m now getting associate fees from ebooks now. I don’t know if it is for all ebooks or only certain ones.  It is a change in the Amazon policy.  I do know the sale of ebooks is way, way up since this article was originally published.

Upgrading from Windows7 Beta to the RC

I upgraded from Windows7 Beta to the RC today.  Microsoft wants a clean install, but I decided to try this hack I found at Life Rocks 2.0.

It’s really pretty straight forward.

1 Download the ISO and burn the ISO to a DVD.
2 Copy the whole image to a storage location you wish to run the upgrade from (a bootable flash drive or a directory on any partition on the machine running the pre-release build).
3 Browse to the sources directory.
4 Open the file cversion.ini in a text editor like Notepad.
5 Modify the MinClient build number to a value lower than the down-level build. You need to change the value to 7000 as it is the beta version build number.
6 Save the file in place with the same name.
7 Run setup like you would normally from this modified copy of the image and the version check will be bypassed.

1 Download the ISO and burn the ISO to a DVD.

2 Copy the whole image to a storage location you wish to run the upgrade from (a bootable flash drive or a directory on any partition on the machine running the pre-release build).

3 Browse to the sources directory.

4 Open the file cversion.ini in a text editor like Notepad.

5 Modify the MinClient build number to a value lower than the down-level build. You need to change the value to 7000 as it is the beta version build number.

6 Save the file in place with the same name.

7 Run setup like you would normally from this modified copy of the image and the version check will be bypassed.

I had already burned a boot DVD from the RC ISO, so I just copied that on a 8 gig thumb drive, and modifed the file in question.  I then plugged that drive in my Windows7 Beta system and ran setup.exe from the thumb drive.

The only hitch was that RC didn’t like the $25 sound card I had installed to work with the BETA release.  I’ll check for updated drivers later.

Summer of the Smart Phone

Let’s review what is announced/rumored for this summer.

Palm’s Pre is due out in two days.  Will it be enought to save Palm? Hell, Sprint could use the boost too.

Two days after that,  the new iPhone firmware is release, and probably new iPhone hardware as well.

Later this month, Nokia’s N97 is due out

After that,  Google will release another rev of Android and multiple Android phones will be hitting th streets.

Another entry into the Netbook OS market

Intel has their own custom blend of Linux for netbook computers, called Moblin.

Release 2.0 was just announced.  It’s got a slick UI and takes advange of special features of Intel’s Atom chip, which is found in a lot of netbook.

I don’t think it will sell as well as Windows 7 or Android, but it is interesting to see the competition in this market.