Steve Jobs’ Biography Is Hot Off Amazon

Steve Jobs’ biography is out today, and ebook readers can grab it at Amazon.  Amazon’s product description for Steve Jobs’ biography is below:

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS.
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.
Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.
Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

About the Author
Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and of Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.

The print length is around 656 pages long.  It is a sizable ebook.  Share your comments below this post so everyone will know what you think about Steve Jobs’ biography.

Source:  Amazon.com

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When Electricity Isn’t So Accessible, Literature Thrives On With Books Made Of Papers

Reading the title of an article’s “Ebooks don’t spell the end of literature,” a lightbulb lighted up in my head — a new title of a new article came to life “When Electricity Isn’t So Accessible, Literature Thrives On With Books Made Of Papers.”  OK, it does sound like I’m a hater of ebooks and ereaders, but I’m not.  I actually own an iPad 2, Kindle, and an iPhone 4 — each of these devices can allow me to read ebooks.  Unfortunately, only Kindle can allow me to read ebooks more frequently and without worrying of the situation where battery goes dead.  It’s all because Kindle uses E-ink technology which can conserve battery power better than the full colored back lid screens of iPad 2 and iPhone 4.

With that many ebook enabled devices, I think I’ve established myself as a person who does have the ability to read ebooks whenever he wants, and often I find myself adding more ebooks into my already large collection of ebooks through the means of buying ebooks from Amazon and borrowing ebooks from local libraries’ digital collections.  The point that I’m trying to make is that electronic devices such as ereaders can become useless when electricity becomes inaccessible.  It’s a simple point, but it’s often overlooked by onlookers who do not know the tormented feeling of the ones who have to face such condition.  Sure, it’s not like a life threatening situation, but it’s the truth.  Just like how Marta Hillers had described electronic devices as useless and people became cave dwellers in her book “A Woman in Berlin.”  It was her recognition of when electricity became scarce, electronic devices could be only empty shells of anything but useful.

OK, it does sound as if my argument is rather weak, because it sounds as if we need to have a World War II again and to have people experience the lack of electricity as how Marta Hillers had so we can realize the merit of not totally relying on ereaders; I disagree!  How do we know electricity will always be abundant?  I don’t think even the future that we’re imagining of when there will be free electricity in abundant amount (i.e., always available) through the usages of futuristic solar and wind technologies — guaranteeing there won’t be a day that people might become cave dwellers again — can last forever.  Who can guarantee that there will never be a breakdown in society to a point that humans become cave dwellers?

Whenever I read something that put ereaders and ebooks above traditional books (i.e., books made from trees), I have to say let not be so optimistic about such aspect.  I rather encourage people to believe in having both for a long time to come as a better approach to ensure books don’t go the way of book burnings in ancient times.  And yet, books should go the way of the dead sea scrolls.  Having both you ask?  Sure, having both means let print more traditional books and release more ebooks (in effect sell more ereaders), and to larger effect let people have more choices of choosing their reading medium.  What not to do is to promote ebooks and ereaders only society and abandon the traditional book society (i.e., books made from trees).

Lastly, I like to think that censoring ebooks (i.e., digital forms) is way easier than traditional books (i.e., books made from trees).  How?  It takes few entities and few keystrokes on keyboards to eliminate huge databases of ebooks and the data themselves.  What cool about books made from trees is that you have to burn them physically which speaks more to why it’s bad to burn books.  You can say the Hollywood effect of having real books on fire might connect to scholars more than not, in negative way of course.

Afterthought:  I do like ebooks as more trees can be saved by not printing books made of papers, but we humans can always print books made of papers ethically.  That is, we do not really have to destroy a whole forest for printing traditional books (i.e., books made from trees), because we do have a choice of printing less of the same books in term of copies; we know that a single ebook can be easily download and copy in digital forms without worrying about destroying a forest.

Kindle Users Now Can Check Out Ebooks From Local Libraries

Finally, Amazon allows Kindle users to check out their local libraries’ ebooks as long they have valid library cards and Amazon account.  I’ve tried it, but unfortunately my local library is still trying to get Kindle ebook setup process to work, and so I definitely have to try to check out an ebook for Kindle from my local library again soon.  Why don’t you try to check out an ebook for Kindle from your local library to see if you can?

Anyhow, here how it should work!  You go to your local library’s website, browse for the ebooks that you want to check out with your Kindle and then do so.  Your Kindle should be able to receive the ebooks from your library for limited time.  According to Engadget, ebooks from your library should have limited copies and expiration date just like how one would have borrowed a physical book from a local library.  I’m still not clear on how to return an ebook to a local library, you know?

Source:  http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/21/amazon-lets-you-check-out-kindle-books-from-library-websites-as/

Should We All Gung-ho About Amazon’s Soon To Launch Ebook Rental Service?

Yes, it does seem like a very bad idea for Amazon to rent out ebooks to people, but I shall not think in that way and bet that Amazon can do it right for book lovers.  According to telegraph.co.uk, Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon will launch ebook rental service soon, and some people are against the idea since they think this will degrade the existing book markets.  Amazon is a very big player in ebook market, and so whatever the company does, it matters hugely to the whole ebook market.  We don’t see the same complaints for other companies who are renting ebooks out to people, but Amazon is a different story for some people.

Personally, I think it is not that a big of a deal and it might be a good idea if Amazon executes its ebook rental service the right way.  I would imagine that Amazon doesn’t want to degrade the current ebook market which is very generous to Amazon so far.  Instead, Amazon wants to enhance its revenue and increasing its ebook marketshare, and so by allowing people to rent older ebook titles just like how physical libraries do; people don’t have to pay for every title, because Amazon can just use physical libraries’ model and allow book lovers to pay super affordable annual subscription fee to have rental access to older ebook titles.  Obviously, I don’t have any relation with Amazon and so I do not know how Amazon will launch its ebook rental service, but by looking at the bright side I think the ebook rental model I’d mentioned is one of the ways Amazon could approach to this very market.  For all we know, Amazon could charge people/book-lovers with monthly subscription fee or however the company sees fit.

Although I’m all gung-ho for Amazon’s ebook rental service, I fear that Amazon’s ebook rental service can gradually erode the idea of having physical libraries in towns and cities.  Why would one want to go to a physical library and waste gas along the way when one could just sit at home and check out an ebook through Amazon’s ebook rental service in seconds?  This only work if Amazon ebook rental service’s annual subscription fee (not monthly) is super affordable!  To me, it’s bad to make physical libraries irrelevant, because I don’t always trust the durability and reliability and data redundancy of the digital world wholly.  Also, it’s best to have more choices than less, and so people should be able to check out physical books in physical libraries in towns and cities or online through services such as Amazon’s ebook rental service.  Whichever way people prefer, and not how whichever way a big corporation prefers most!

Source:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/amazon/8757122/Amazon-to-launch-book-rental-service.html

Apple Stifles An Ebook Competitor Within Its App Store With New Demand

I don’t use iFlow Reader app ever, but it does sound very ugly the way Apple has dealt with the developers who had created this very app. According to Cnet, Apple demands 30% profit per sale from iFlow Reader app, and the new demand will effectively carry out on June 30 forward. The developers of iFlow Reader app appear to be offended by the new demand from Apple, and they might have to pull their app from Apple’s App Store.

Cnet goes on and raises the idea of other ebook reader apps may very well face the same situation as iFlow Reader app. Apparently, this too worries me very much since I use Kindle app on iPad 2 more than any other ebook reader app. Besides me me me, there probably are many more people who prefer Kindle app over anything similar on their iPad devices, because they might have had a Kindle before they purchased their iPad 2. These users had already bought too many Kindle ebooks, and they may not feel fine if Kindle app in Apple’s App Store too may have to face similar fate as iFlow Reader app.

I could be wrong, but to me it seems that Kindle ebooks are less expensive than iBook ebooks. This is one of the reasons I’m compelling to purchase Kindle ebooks, only! Perhaps, I may pick up my iPad 2 less in term of reading, because my Kindle indeed is much better for reading (i.e., E-Ink technology). In the end, I still hope other ebook reader apps are going to stick around for iPad 2 users like me, because reading ebooks from other ebook providers is a plus to whatever else that we can already do with iPad 2. Users of other Apple’s products that utilize Apple’s App Store may have the same unpleasant thoughts about Apple’s new demand of iFlow Reader app.

Are you OK with Apple aggressive demand of ebook providers? What if you too only prefer to buy ebooks from other ebook providers, do you feel angry at the possibility of having to see many ebook providers pull their ebook reader apps from Apple’s App Store? Personally, I abhor the possibility of going without a Kindle app on my iPad 2 device.

Source: http://news.cnet.com/as-iflow-reader-app-closes-harsh-words-for-apple/8301-17938_105-20061802-1.html

Update: New thought/opinion of mine — I think by changing the rules in the middle of the game in regarding to iFlow Reader app case, this very action may instill a lack of trust inside the minds of many Apple’s app developers in the long run. If I’m not wrong, I remember the people who provided the tools and equipments for gold miners in 1849, California Gold Rush, were the ones that reaped the most profits from the event. We can wildly assume that Apple can be more profitable by prolonging the California Gold Rush for Apple’s app marketplace, because it is the very place where gold miners such as app developers compete among each other for golds.

Kindle To Let Users Borrow Ebooks From Libraries

More good news for Kindle users!  Amazon announces that the company will change its policy and to release new feature later this year to provide Kindle users with capability of borrowing ebooks from 11,000 libraries or so.  By then, Kindle users know they can always find a book to read, whether it be from library or from Amazon Kindle store.  With the recent move as Amazon is selling Kindle with ads for less, and now Amazon releases this good news about borrowing ebooks from libraries through Kindle, maybe the combination of these two opportunities will be convincing enough to push more people to buy Kindles.  Read more about this at here.