Saturday, July 25, 2009

I knew Ricoh was smart. But I didn't know they were cool.

Amazon Plans For E-Book Advertising

Here's the tweet
kindlenews News: Amazon Plans For E-Book Advertising (AMZN) - The Business Insider
Last Thursday I said,
What might be Amazon's response to E Logic and Barnes and Noble?
My bet is going to be that they will delivered contextually accurate advertisements first in e books, then in printed books. Nobody but Google has the scale and the technology to compete. As far as I can tell AdSense and the Amazon recommendation engine have a huge lead over everyone else.
I wonder who will be the first to see that the most appropriate advertising in a ebook or print book will be one line of type + TinyPurl + a CodeZ QR.

Comics may be the killer app for clickable newspapers.

iPhone to Print to iPhone. Plus everyone loves comics.

San Diego Comic-Con: Digital and Print Comics Come Together -
7/24/2009 7:28:00 AM -
Publishers Weekly
: "The Digital Comics Now panel featured David Steinberger, CEO of comics news site, who announced the debut of its combination comics e-reader for iPhone, library and digital comics store; and LongBox CEO Rantz Hosely discussed his much-anticipated LongBox venture, an effort to create an iTunes like delivery system for comics that is slated to work across multiple platforms. It's likely to launch in the fall. Steinberger’s Comixology iPhone/store/library app is available now through the iTunes store for, $.99 and gives readers access to about 100 titles from 20 publishers, including Bluewater, AdHouse and many others. The Comixology app allows reading by full page-view as well as panel-by panel-viewing and also attempts to tie digital comics to print and points readers to retailers for print editions
. .
Developed by Genus co-CEOs Melissa Pope and Helen Cho Anthos, Kamikaze also offers an elegant interface that emphasizes the full page-view as well as panel-by-panel reading. The app will soon offer iPhone editions of the complete Will Eisner backlist available from W.W. Norton; in addition they announced deals to offer the classic underground comics of R. Crumb (including Zap comics), as well as an iPhone version of Macmillan’s forthcoming comics adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451; The 9/11 Report: The Graphic Adaptation and the Warner Bros Terminator comic. Pope and Anthos said the new app is expected to go live on the iTunes store, "any day now." The updated Kamikaze interface now features a table of contents and an enhanced zoom text-bubble feature that enlarges the text for reading and shrinks back into the layout. The feature now also works in the landscape mode. Kamikaze is also offering comics from IDW, U.K. comics house Markosia and a growing list of self-published indies that include comics by Scott Morse and others.

In honor of Comic-Con, Google launched a project involving about 50 comics artists that allows online visitors to pick among comics visual themes created by the cartoonists and use it to decorate their personal homepages. Publishers involved include Macmillan’s First Second graphic novel imprint and their artists, including NBA nominee Gene Yang, Derek Kirk Kim, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, Sara Varon and others. And DC Comics’s superstar superhero artist Jim Lee has provided a superhero visual theme for the Classic Google interface that will be up through the convention.

In separate announcements Archie Comics unveiled its digital comics store, a subscription service offering access to hundreds of back issues. And the software developers at Genus Corp, who released an iPhone comics app at New York Comic-Con that featured a handful of titles—among them Will Eisner’s classic Contract with God—were on hand with an updated version of the app, called Kamikaze, that featured new features and lots of new comics.

From a Wall Street guy at Seeking Alpha. iPhone to iTouch Tablet will be big, big, big. Me? It will decimate margins for tablet PCs.

"The iTouch Tablet is about to change society as we know it. The demand for this product is going to overwhelm Apple (AAPL). Let’s connect the dots from the latest round of leaks, rumors and inferences regarding the Apple Tablet
. ..Read the rest at Why Apple's iTouch Tablet Will Become Its Flagship Product -- Seeking Alpha:

I'm so glad I live in the world of Print.

In the Future, the Cost of Education will be Zero. It should read "nearly all the way down to zero."

In the Future, the Cost of Education will be Zero
"The average cost of yearly tuition at a private, four-year college in the US this year was $25,143, and for public schools, students could expect to pay $6,585 on average for the 2008-09 school year, according to the College Board. That was up 5.9% and 6.4% respectively over the previous year, which is well ahead of the national average rate of inflation. What that means is that for many people, college is out of reach financially. But what if social media tools would allow the cost of an education to drop nearly all the way down to zero?" . . . and open source or reusable and adaptive learning materials can drive costs down even further.

Clickable A4's and clickable newspapers are adaptive learning materials.

One vision for the school of the future comes from the United Nations. Founded this year by the UN’s Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technology and Development (GAID), the University of the People is a not-for-profit institution that aims to offer higher education opportunities to people who generally couldn’t afford it by leveraging social media technologies and ideas.

The school is a one hundred percent online institution, and utilizes open source courseware and peer-to-peer learning to deliver information to students without charging tuition.
. . .
“It’s not for everyone,” said Reshef at an education event earlier this year. “You need to know English, you need to have a computer… our assumption [is that the students will be from] the upper end of the lower class or the lower end of the middle class… it’s people who almost made it… who could have been at the university but missed their chance.”
Software engineers usually wear "people-like-us" glasses. They have a blind spot for the fact that without Print nothing can go mass market. Print + TV are the mass media. Everything else is a niche medium for growing niches. It is not a question of more technology. The reality is that push media thrives in the physical world. Pull media thrives in the cognitive world.

Google is a pull media in cognitive space. Wal-Mart is a push media in physical space. Print lives in physical space. Clickable print connects the two. Just as Amazon connects the two.

Once you take off the "people-like-us" glasses it becomes clear that Wal-Mart is the mass media for most of the people-NOT-like-us.

Wikitude, Print, Education, Smart Phones, CodeZ QR

Enabling the Ecosystem: WIKITUDE, Part One |
"AG: For those readers not familiar with your application, how would you describe WIKITUDE?

ML: WIKITUDE is an augmented reality world browser which supports the visualization of IP based information within the physical world. In other words, WIKITUDE enables the world to become a platform for information to be displayed in a mixed reality, within a situational context. WIKITUDE is also a platform for AR development API and a crowdsourced geo-information portal,"

Here's what I'm trying to get at:

Android :
Google on every not-iPhone web phone appliance on the planet.

crowdsourced geo-information
A project driven collaborative classroom is managed crowd sourcing.

the world to become a platform for information

Print is the table of contents and the index.

CodeZ QR or copy cats
Information laden QR codes or TinyPurls emit the data streams that enable measure and manage.

Video is for implicit learning and getting interested. Print is for explicit learning and getting more and more interested.

Since the screen is not print, I can't do the print part here. But imagine a TinyPurl or QR code that takes you to:

Then imagine a CodeZ QR that emits the data to map the information exchanges.

Engineers Rock! Experienced Craftspeople + Science = Engineers. They make hard stuff, easy. It sounds like Kodak has some great engineers

Yesterday I tweeted:
Noel Ward @PrintCeo: Kodak says Prosper A4 TCO is .008 4c 35% and .00015 per mono. Infoprint? Oce? HP? Xerox?
At PrintCEO, I commented:

Thank you for the detailed report. It will be great to get three wide format continuous inkjets in the marketplace.

Since my particular focus is on versioned and personalized newspapers I’m curious if the prosper can print on newsprint or close to newsprint.

If I read it correctly a tabloid page in color would be appx .008 x 2 = 1.6 cents and .0015 x 2 for .003 per black and white tabloid page. That translates into 24 page tabloid in black only for .072 plus paper and folding.

If those numbers check out I think it might open up a market for the versioned newspapers to eat into the high school textbook market.

I don’t know the pricing on the infoprint, hp or oce machines, but a selling cost of less than 20 cents a copy should find it’s place in the education marketplace.

Or my math could be wrong.

If EK would spin off the Print piece (Creo dna + photo engineers) it would be a nice play for my IRA. (Kodak Gallery + digital camera) dna would be nice for someone else's IRA. I don't know much about photography.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Xerox Profit Drops 35%" or "Margins up. Cash Up. Expenses Down." . . . It's all how you look at it.

The headline at What They Think is
"Xerox Profit Drops 35% .
It would have been more useful if it read "
Xerox Profit Drops 35% Compared to Q2 2008.
Less profit than Q2 2008 is hardly a surprise or an indication of what it looks like going forward. Later today there will be a conference call, but my bet is that almost everything I need to know is in the press release. The point is in the snippets below.
. . said Ursula M. Burns, Xerox chief executive officer ''Gross margin and cash are up; expenses are down – all key factors to our strong financial position that is serving us well during this tough economy."
Gross margin was 40.2 percent in the second quarter, an increase of one point from the prior year and up 1.3 points from the first quarter of this year. Second-quarter selling, administrative and general (SAG) expenses were down year over year by $157 million and SAG as a percent of revenue was 27.2 percent.
SAG at 27.2 percent is still much too high. WalMart has 16%+. Sometimes you make money in top line growth. The most sustainable way to make money is by using less resources to sell more stuff. That doesn't always mean firing people. There are many ways to take them off the books by helping them earn their living in other ways. And there are tons of no-longer-necessary numbers in SAG. 27.2 % is still way too high. But the mother ship seems to have turned around. SAG is starting to go down instead of going up or staying flat.

The real opportunity is that cutting SAG will do wonders for net margins. If you can make a profit at 27.2%, what happens when it goes to 22% on it's route to 16+%.

My not so humble suggestion is to look at all non salary SAG expenses with an eye to eliminating them.

1. Replace much of the advertising by using Xexox's in place printernet. Add QR codes and TinyPurls to connect to videos at YouTube. Replace space ads and TV buys with the implicat Xerox media network.

To be clear, more money to the creatives, less money for the media buys and overly expensive trade shows that we no longer need.

2. Consider transforming PARC into a University. The recent Apple + Yale model of complete course work on iTunes for free should work. The MIT model of complete course work posted on line is just another way to do it. Offer online and onsite graduate degrees, thereby turning PARC from a cost center to a leading edge innovation engine.

3. Align the objectives of the Xerox, the Foundation with Xerox, the company and PARC, the University. A common focus could be to reinvent education at the bottom of the pyramid everywhere on the planet.

Quarterly Profits and High Stakes tests are noisy metrics.
Business, like high school students, don't need final exams. Analysts and education administrators like the simplicity of a final exam. It makes their jobs easier. Everyone tends to do what is easiest for them to do. But business, like learning is a process. The appropriate metric are those that measure the process. Cash flow, gross margins, overhead in business.
Overhead, attendance and homework compliance in high schools.

The trick is to have them all going in the right direction. But that is only a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for success.

At the heart of business and education are people who have the time and the dna to focus on the task at hand. In business that's the customer. In education that is the student. The last necessary,but not sufficient condition, is an enterprise that can intervene in real time to know what's working and fix or eliminate what's not.

In education the stakes are much higher. Every day that education is broken is another day lost in a child's life. The problem is that every day counts. A child's daily experience makes it better or makes it worse. There is no third choice.

Sometimes you need a sales person and/or an engineer and/or a learning leader.
You always need engineers who understand sales and sales people who understand engineering. But the best in either education or business is a leader with engineering and customer focused dna. Regarding Xerox, Ursula has engineering dna and a track record that demonstrates the common sense of a business leader.

Scattered throughout all of our schools and businesses, there are people with love-to-learn dna fighting their way out of 20th century enterprises that do not allow them to be the learning leaders they are.

My hope for Xerox is that it's going to turn out to be just the right person in just the right place at just the right time. My hope for bottom of the pyramid high school education is that sooner, rather than later, those with love-to-learn dna will deepen their connections until a critical mass exists to scale the creation of the social capital that the world needs.

Go Xerox!
Go Education!

Full disclosure. Long on Xerox. Check out my IRA in the sidebar.
Note: on Feb 18, 2009 XRX was 6.06. Yesterday it closed at 7.73.

HP ties one more knot in their Printernet

Earlier in the week, HP announced that HP+ Consolidated are doing a printernet customization product for National Geographic.

Today I read from Cary Sherbourne at WTT about PressSense. As usual, a column by Cary is worth the click. A snippet below.

Beyond Web-to-Print, Drew Swankie of R and R Images
from WhatTheyThink
"DS: While a lot is the same, HP has taken it in a different direction. For example, HP will have Adobe InDesign Server integrated into the same iWay interface. That means that you can build storefront servers that allow you to do anything you can do in InDesign. You can have all kinds of font effects and tie it in with third parties such as DirectSmile, MindFire and others. It ties it all together in a nice package, even including high-end variable data templates. This allows us to have more complex jobs in the storefront. It also offers a customer service module that makes it not only a Web-to-print storefront, but a complete job tracking and management system. In the past, we had different workflows and different individuals who each knew how to do one thing. They might know PrintSmith or iWay but were not likely to know both. Now with the new customer service module, all of our production will run through one system instead of four or five."

QR codes come to NBC in Hollywood. It's get closer every day.

pedicab showing possible qr code for the film 9

Focus features QR code pedicabs:
"Focus Features, the art house films division of NBC Universal's Universal Pictures, are to affix QR codes to downtown San Diego pedicabs during Comic-Con to promote Tim Burton's film 9, based on Shane Ackers 2005 short animation. Scanning the QR codes will direct users to one of four exclusive messages from the director. The file is due to be released 9/9/09."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Magtastic Blogsplosion | Print meets QR – a review of Spektacle

Magtastic Blogsplosion
Print meets QR – a review of Spektacle
The latest issue uses QR codes in a more integrated way than any magazine I’ve seen. Some say that QR codes – a piece of technology where you use your mobile phone camera to snap a square monochrome image that then connects you to a website or other information, much like a barcode – are part of new, interactive future for print. It has yet to take off in Europe or the States as it has in Japan, being mostly reserved in the west for the corner of billboard advertisements. But in the context of Spektacle, is it any good?

Then as now, Spektacle is the creation of John Noi, a London-based American with an MA in Fashion Journalism from Central St Martins.

The "analysts" say what Xerox is going to say tmw at 10:00 AM

Updated: 5:07 PM EDT XRX closed at 7.73. GO XRX!!

Earnings Preview: Xerox Corp. --
Seeking Alpha:

The consensus estimate is 11c for EPS and $3.72B for revenue, according to First Call. Management provided Q2 guidance on its last earnings call of 10c to 12c, which was below the then consensus of 14c. The company predicted FY09 EPS of 50c to 55c, also below the then consensus of 58c.

On that same call management reiterated that it will deliver $250M in savings throughout 2009 from previous restructuring actions, as well as an additional $300M in non-restructuring cost and expense reductions. The company also said it's on track for $300M in capital expenditures and $1.3B in cash from operations for FY09, driven by cost actions and working capital improvements. During Q2 Xerox unveiled a new office machine, the 'ColorQube', that promises to cut the cost of color printing by 62%. Xerox doesn't expect the printer to contribute much to earnings until 2010. The company is bracing for a long period of penny-pinching among customers to last for at least the next couple of quarters, as printing and copying are discretionary costs and the first eliminated to shrink budgets."

Ooops! now it's (Plastic Logic + Barnes and Noble + AT&T) vs Amazon + Sprint (in the States) and the very good news for Oce and Infoprint.

The shape of the future is starting to emerge from the haze. The value is the network."Free" is the cheapest way to acquire new customers, keep old customers and increase the size of the network. The bigger the network the more people will pay for new stuff and experiences. And the less money has to be spent on paid media.
From tweetname Cart
Plastic Logic eReader to be AT&T exclusive: (via @jafurtado)
Then I clicked and found this:
Plastic Logic, the company behind the new exclusive Barnes and Noble ereader announced earlier in the week, has said that it will follow Apple in the US by signing an exclusive agreement with AT&T.

The news means the yet released ebook will sport a GSM chip meaning a possible UK launch could be on the cards.

The Plastic Logic Reader, which is also Wi-Fi enabled and due to launch in 2010, will be the company's answer to the Amazon Kindle.

The device is about the size of an 8.5 x 11-inch pad of paper, less than a 1/4-inch thick and weighs less than many print magazines says the company. Unlike the Kindle it will feature a touchscreen display.

Users will be able to connect to content and download it wirelessly through AT&T's 3G network in the US and abroad, something that the Kindle can't currently offer, however the company hasn't yet said how much roaming fees will be.
The problem with being an 800 lb gorilla in a user network economy.
It's the same problem that Ricoh, Xerox and HP have to face in MPS. A new combination can emerge overnight to threaten market share and margins. Given the new technology their are business models that can leverage "free." In my opinion is that sooner or later there will be free-to-the-user textbooks in high school ed, followed by free-to-the-user learning materials all the way to Graduate School.

The recent announcements by Yale+Apple show one direction for content. Both Yale and Apple have the organizational dna to understand the value is the network and the going forward experiences facilitated by that network. At Apple it's called a brand and the design skill that delivers the iEverything experience. At Yale it's called a leading edge opportunity for learning and the gong forward experiences of engaging with some of the best minds that money and location can attract.

Where Print fits
Print is not about content. Print is about making real stuff. People will pay less and less for content. They will also pay less for real stuff. But there is no going forward expectation that it should be free. Read for free, pay for Print stuff will continue to work for a long time.

Print (including packaging and signage) and TV were the real mass push media. Now that internet TV is emerging, it is moving from a push to a pull media. While printing can now be produced through pull (Web2Print) the end use of Print is push. A business card, a letterhead, a poster or a sign are pushed into someone's environment where they sit quietly until the nano second of interest brings the information top of mind.

If Print is connected to the content in pull media and can be delivered at massive scale in close to real time, it has the game to itself, once again.

Here's an example of what I'm trying say.
The Google money machine is built on the value of the biggest network on the planet. Now they are moving to be the entry point to the mobile web with Chrome OS. But since the web is a pull media they have to generate pulling through the web.

Consider the value to Google or Amazon or any of the leading edge internet enterprises of 50,000,000 postcards delivered overnight with a minimum carbon footprint, every two weeks at a reasonable price. This can only be done with a trsutworthy massive scale deliver and print functionality. The scale is too big for any one company.

The same thought model should work for newspapers, textbooks, marketing and publishing in general.

What might be Amazon's response to E Logic and Barnes and Noble?
My bet is going to be that they will delivered contextually accurate advertisements first in e books, then in printed books. Nobody but Google has the scale and the technology to compete. As far as I can tell AdSense and the Amazon recommendation engine have a huge lead over everyone else.

That could eventually mean free-to-the-reader printed books. The good news for printers is that free-to-the-user means massive demand and low but not no prices.

Oce and Infoprint
Oce is the leader in printed books. Infoprint has the lead in implemented technology for continous feed digital for the enterprise. If either one of them succeeds in making the connection from PSP networks to MPS in the enterprise, they get the first mover advantage and everyone else is going to be playing catch up.

Is Riso the real game changer? or is it Color Cube? or is it none of the above?

In my morning WhatTheyThink email, I noticed this ad from Riso:
RISO’s ComColor series redefines high-speed, low-cost digital color inkjet printing: 150 ppm, 500,000/month duty cycle, 3¢/page, ENERGY STAR certified.
If it's simple to use and the field force can execute and the MFP or MFD (you say tomato, I say tomahto) is Google ready, I can't see why Riso engineers may not have invented the category killer.

An Evolutionary Approach to Financial History and Print + TV instead of textbooks. Maybe instead of High School or Graduate school.

Print + CodeZ QR and TinyPurls connect Print to internet TV. TV is the best media to see what you want to learn. Print is the best media to learn logical thinking.

The 2:17 version:

The 10 minute snippet.

For the 49:57 version Click on the link in the lower right hand corner of the screen.

If there were a transcript and a quiz aligned with national education standards, the Print version would be much more effective than a textbook. If the Print version had TinyPurls and CodeZ QR, it would emit the exchange data that educators need to find out what works and what doesn't.

It might even be the best way to Educate the Customer.

If a clickable newspaper did it every week on local and national issues it might even be the best way to help bottom of the pyramid high school kids learn how to learn.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

MFPs + Print 4 Pay = MPS "a much more recession-proof business model"

from Printing Office
Managed Print Services Emerges as Market Niche:
Comment July 22, 2009

"I worked a combined 22 years at Xerox, IKON and Ricoh (Lanier) primarily in their outsourcing divisions. 5 years ago I joined all of you as an entrepeneur and bought an existing Quick Print company. 2 years ago I started a Managed Print Services (MPS) company as well.

Our MPS program has become quickly profitable because we are willing to support printers and MFDs of every make and model, as virtually every company in America has more than one manufacturer in their print fleet. All the manufacturers (Xerox, HP, IKON / Ricoh) find it impossible to manage competitive brands.

Since we can manage all manufacturer’s, we are able to provide, in most cases, the most cost-effective solution to our clients. As a Quick printer and MPS provider we are now able to cross-sell printing services with MPS…thus providing a much more recession-proof business model. MPS is something every printing company should look at."

Clickable Print + Internet Video is 1 + 1 = 3

MediaPost Publications
Four Ways To Plan Around The 2009 Internet Video Backlash 07/22/2009:
by Ben Weinberger,
"By all measures, 2008 capped a banner period of growth for Internet video. In the span of a few short years, consumers have done what all the experts said was impossible: radically alter their video-watching behaviors, frequently trading in the 'couch potato' experience of watching TV on the sofa to view snippets on the mobile phone or catch a missed show on the computer after the initial broadcast.

As the economy rebounds, there are four ways everyone in the industry can help contribute to the ongoing economic growth of online video advertising:
My thoughts regarding Ben's suggestions follow:

1. Encourage new advertising models and expanded inventory for alternative platforms now, while consumers continue to modify their TV-watching behavior.

An under appreciated value of video commercials is that they are often the content that people want. An agency or a marketing officer could by step the cost of media placement completely. Once videos are posted at YouTube basic metrics are collected free of charge. I assume it would be possible to make a deal with Google to get drill downs to create a data stream that could be quite useful. The business model is to make money by eliminating the cost of media buys or to use the stick of a youtube only strategy to negotiate lower prices.

2. Take advance of the digital format by repurposing content across multiple platforms, enabling advertisers to follow suit in complementary ways.

Videos can be divided to take advantage of different lengths appropriate to different media. It might work out that a 15 second spot is correct for the smart phone, a 30 sec to 2 minute spot is best for YouTube, a 2 minute spot is correct for viewing on a living room internet connected flat screen. The creative and production costs could be amortized over the various products to go to different audiences.

3. Know your data -- and your target audience -- inside and out.

This is the must have. The new deliverable is actionable information to inform marketing decisions going forward. The issue is to know what works and what doesn't in real time so that adjustments can be made and new interventions made. The days of focus groups and blind studies are being replaced with try what you think will work, revise and do it again.

The issue going forward is to have teams of creatives that can respond fast enough to execute.

4. Encourage patience among peers, clients and business partner

Sorry, I think this one is a non starter out of the gate.

The new role for Print and Printernet Publishing.
The last ten years of advances in digital printing have resulted in a new ability based on massive parallel manufacturing. The most recent example is the work that National Geographic contracted to HP. National Geographic announced yesterday that they are doing a Special Edition where users can add their picture on the cover of a printed issue of the magazine.

While the results are not yet in, the point is that the actual production is being done on a "fleet of Indigo 7000's that are managed at the Consolidated Graphics multi locations. My understanding is that they have 70 locations around the States and some throughout the world.

Printernet publishing is meant to capture this new reality on the ground.

Clickable Print
Clickable print points to the new reality of printing information rich 2d codes on paper for mass distribution. The codes can be in many forms. What's new is there is at least one format that can be produced at scale. So far the only one that has gotten on my radar is CodeZ QR produced by CODI. The point is that the data stream that can be harvested is very rich. Connected to the appropriate analytic engines, new insights are possible about consumer's behavior.

In the form of a TinyUrl they are the human readable URL which should make it simple to type in the browser. A tiny Url while 25 characters in length have only six characters that change. Six characters can be easily remembered to type into a browser.

In the form of an information rich QR code, the user can "click" on the paper and with no further actions be taken to a video on their smart phone.

The Ad Age Article to Barnes & Noble Takes on E-Book Market - Advertising Age - Digital

Barnes & Noble Takes on E-Book Market -
Advertising Age -:
"SAN FRANCISCO ( -- Barnes & Noble will have a lot of marketing to do if it hopes to own a sizable share of the small but growing e-book market, currently dominated by Amazon."

The Metrics for Social Media from a cmt at Ad Age

What are the metrics for HP, Oce, Xerox, Ricoh etc etc etc?
To give some context: At the end of the comment it says
"We do a lot of work in the space and have a white paper on the subject - the 9 Step Guide To Social Networking. Starbucks does a better than average job on all 9 steps.

We also generate a forecast for food and beverage trends and Starbuck's move to instant-coffee with Via, may seem counter to the brand to some, but from the trends we've seen, it too is dead on.

Rodney Mason, CMO
The Great State Of Design
And a snippet of the comment follows:
@ Advertising Age
"Bravo! for the upcoming shift to more relevant media that Starbucks can dominate in - social media. It's a medium custom made for Starbucks core customers and not so much for Dunkin Donuts or McDonald's.

Don't believe it? There are a handful of McDonald's Personas on Twitter, none have more than 700 followers and Dunkin Donuts has just over 29,000, while Starbucks has over 250,000 followers.

McDonald's US has just over 1,882,000 fans on their Facebook Fan Page, Dunkin a little more than 829,000. Starbucks has over 3,665,000 and Starbucks Frappuccino more than 1,307,000.

Perhaps today you found out through a friend that Starbucks had an exclusive one day offer for a free pastry with the purchase of a drink via a viral e-coupon. If you didn't know about it, you might not be in their target audience.

Going to the core traits that make the Starbucks brand distinct and special will perpetuate greater awareness in the social networking sphere."

Oce should call Newsweek should call Oce to talk to them about clickable newspapers instead of high school textbooks

@McClatchy Watch:
Amazing stat of the day: Newsweek's paid newsstand circulation is less than 67,000 copies a week:
"Newsweek lost $20.3 million in the first quarter of this year on revenue of $46.1 million. Those are ugly numbers. But given the circulation statistics, they're hardly surprising. It's a little hard to see why—especially in an age of real-time online news—The Washington Post Co. is keeping Newsweek alive. Readers (and advertisers) just don't seem to care."

When Context Matters: Consumers Link Unfamiliar Products To Surrounding Items. Towards a Science of Pricing

The snippet is from a Press Release at Science Daily.
The Press Release is Adapted from materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

To see the full journal article:
  1. Lee et al. Disambiguating the Role of Ambiguity in Perceptual Assimilation and Contrast Effects. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 090623095822070 DOI: 10.1086/605299

The snippet follows:
When Context Matters: Consumers Link Unfamiliar Products To Surrounding Items:
"Authors Michelle P. Lee (Singapore Management University) and Kwanho Suk (Korea University) set out to examine a paradox of consumer behavior: Sometimes consumers are swayed by the surrounding context in which a product appears (an 'assimilation effect'). In other situations, a product that appears among cheaper items seems to be more expensive ('contrast effect').

The researchers designed a series of three experiments where they asked participants for evaluations of restaurants and cars. In the car studies, participants were asked to rate car models for how expensive or inexpensive they thought they were. Unbeknownst to them, only a subset of the cars was critically important."

A user network society needs different ways of thinking. Consider the economists.
Economics is in crisis: it is time for a profound revamp
"With so much disagreement it is no surprise that policymakers are unsure and vacillate. Some countries, such as the US and France, go all out for the Keynesian story; others, such as Germany, put more faith in the Ricardians. Personally I think the Keynesians are right, but my opinion is irrelevant. The point is that the cacophony of analysis helps to explain why policymakers react in different ways to the same crisis and why it is so difficult for them to come up with co-ordinated action.

How to resolve this crisis in macro-economics? The field must be revamped fundamentally. Some of its shortcomings are obvious. Before the financial crisis, most macroeconomists were blinded by the idea that efficient markets would take care of themselves. They did not bother to put financial markets and the banking sector into their models. This is a major flaw.

There is a deeper problem, though, that will be more difficult to resolve. This is the underlying paradigm of macroeconomic models. Mainstream models take the view that economic agents are superbly informed and understand the deep complexities of the world. In the jargon, they have “rational expectations”. Not only that. Since they all understand the same “truth”, they all act in the same way. Thus modelling the behaviour of just one agent (the “representative” consumer and the “representative” producer) is all one has to do to fully describe the intricacies of the world. Rarely has such a ludicrous idea been taken so seriously by so many academics. (Other fields of economics have not been deluded by this implausible idea and therefore do not face the same criticism.)

We need a new science of macroeconomics.

The good news is that the framework for behavioural economics is well defined.

From a Nobel Prize winner in 20 minutes:

Or in 4 minutes from Duke University

More personal TV from Fuqua School of Business @Duke University
Print + TV = 1 + 1`= 3

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Google Wave and 1 + 1 = 3. Print + TV = Free Teaching Materials for High Schools + The opportunity for Independent MPS.

I'm betting that the Google Wave is going to reinvent email. If I'm right that means free collaboration on the web that is simpler, faster, better. If it's incorporated into Google Apps, that means independent MPS will be able to go against the big boys and beat them.

So that part of the education piece will be solved.
Less than two months ago, Google dropped a spectacular surprise upon the world: Google Wave The communication tool aspires to redefine not only email, but the entire web. And from our very first test of Google Wave to our complete Google Wave Guide, we have to say that it’s a game changer.

Well, in the last two months, Google and third-party developers have been hard at work testing out the system, fixing the kinks, and building some amazing extensions (which we discussed in-depth previously). Still, only a handful of people, almost all developers, have access. That’s about to change soon though: on September 30th, Google will start sending out about 100,000 invites for the next version of Google Wave.

Monetizing free is about customer acquisition costs
I learned today that Barnes & Noble is offering Google's library of scanned out of copyright books as ebooks for free. Google has invested gezillions in the long tail of scanned books that have no IP. 700,000 says the release from B&N.

For B&N free can be monetized by putting the cost in the customer acquisition budget. B&N has a significant cost for customer acquisition. If you exchange the cost of advertising and marketing for the cost of free e books, Barnes and Noble might save lots of money. Saving money = making money = monetizing "free."

The good news for high school kids and their teachers
Most of the words you really want high school kids to read are those that have stood the test of time. Almost all of them are not copyright protected. Add to that the ability to download complete course audios from Yale at iTunes for free. Then add to that the ability to offer free videos from YouTube, and Google Talks to take students anywhere in the world.

The Print piece is all about Print on Demand and CodeZ QR.
Any experienced teacher will tell you that print is a must have in learning. This is not the place for the argument, but it has to do with "compare and contrast" and sharing documents on student activity with guardians.
Connecting Print to TV is 1 + 1 = 3.
Adding the information rich QR code and a TinyPurl means the very process of information exchange emits searchable data. Searchable data is the key to actionable information.

The money comes from Twitter in Print = Classified Ads with no overhead.
Take a twitter stream. Transform into XML. Transform into typography on paper. For schools, use twitter streams from public health and government. Charge a little. Sell a lot. The twitter stream in print sits quietly in the right hand column. Customize the twitter stream for the problems of a particular school. Twitter streams in Print about Childhood Obesity would probably work pretty well.

For communities, do the same thing with Twitter Streams in Print for local businesses and whoever else is willing to pay for them.

HP gets it exactly right! Now the ball is passed to Xerox, Oce and InfoPrint. Go Printernet!

I got a message that said
HP announced today that HP has helped National Geographic create customizable covers for the new National Geographic Your Shot special collector's edition magazine. Readers can upload their favorite personal image to a National Geographic web page and then order a copy of the magazine that features that image on the cover. The covers are printed by Consolidated Graphics, the world's largest HP Indigo user, on its fleet of HP Indigo 7000 Digital Presses.
I wasn't there so I can only conjecture, but here's my conjecture. HP got the job. The Indigo Fleet produced the job. Maybe the commission on the sale was shared with Consolidated. Maybe Consolidated just got the clicks. The point is that like almost every print job it wasn't sold, it was bought.

From the press release it seems that National Geographic had the idea. They are doing the ecommerce part with someone they trust.
National Geographic worked with its e-commerce solutions provider to develop a web-to-print tool for the creation of customized covers.
Just as Lexus had the idea for "mine" magazine. CMO's don't need ideas from printers or their vendors. They need a phone number of someone in whom they have confidence.
"The pervasiveness of HP Indigo technology in the printing industry gave us the confidence to approach the cover customization project with HP," said John MacKethan, director, Consumer and Member Marketing, National Geographic Society. "Knowing that we would receive a level of quality that is consistent with our magazines, HP and Consolidated Graphics helped us create a new product that enables us to engage with photography enthusiasts and general consumers who like the idea of being able to customize the cover with a unique, personal photograph."
I still can't quite figure out if National Geographic called CGX or called HP. My bet is HP. Maybe Google will make a call to produce a couple of 10's of millions of clickable postcards to speed the adoption of the Chrome OS. Maybe someone will answer the phone.

The other just the right part is that the project is leveraging the power of print as a "special collector's edition". You can't collect a web page. Now we just have to wait for the sales figures to see if all this is true or just blablabla.

Meanwhile, Go Printernet!

(Amazon + Sprint (the States) on the Kindle) v (B&N + Google + on AnyScreen + Print on Demand))

It gets better and better every day. I assume, but don't know, that the POD books is going to Lightning Source on Oce boxes.
Barnes and Noble to Create an E-Book Megacenter -
"In an announcement on Monday, Barnes & Noble said that it would offer more than 700,000 books that could be read on a wide range of devices, including Apple’s iPhone, the BlackBerry and various laptop or desktop computers. When Barnes & Noble acquired Fictionwise in March, that online retailer had about 60,000 books in its catalog.

More than 500,000 of the books now offered electronically on can be downloaded free, through an agreement with Google to provide electronic versions of public domain books that Google has scanned from university libraries. Sony announced a similar deal in March to offer the public domain books on its Reader device.
. . .
A further one million books can be ordered from in the print-on-demand format.

Wireless TV means a greater need for Clickable Print

MediaPost Publications
New Next Likely To Be Wireless Internet TV 07/21/2009:
"First came the high-def, then the flat-panel. The next wave of television technology is likely to be TVs that wirelessly connect to the Internet.

According to ABI Research, some 20 million TVs offering wireless connectivity -- whether integrated in the hardware or available through an attachment -- will ship globally by 2011. That number will account for roughly 10-11% of the television sales market -- up from about 2% in 2009, says ABI industry analyst Michael Inouye.

While Internet connectivity for televisions has been available, the devices have not reached a market saturation where many people know about them. Most televisions still require a wired connection, and there were only a few wireless sets on the market. This year, however, may mark the difference."

Smart print or clickable print, same thing different jargon. But it's good news for either.

If online video is going to grow and social networks are going to grow and smart print connects the two, why wouldn't it be the low hanging fruit?

Advertising Will Change Forever - Advertising Age -
"It means media is in trouble, or at least in the middle of a transformation. For example, online video ads, which will be about $870 million this year, will grow to over $3 billion in 2014. What will this do to networks plans to put more of their shows online in places like Hulu. How will it accelerate some newspapers plans to become more and more centered around online?

And it means that social 'media,' which will account for $716 million this year between social network campaigns and agency fees, will generate $3 billion in five years. And this doesn't even count displays ads on social networks (which are in the display ads category.) Of all the parts of digital marketing, social network marketing one is poised for the most explosive growth."

Kodak scores in China! It's all about variable data offset.

Lost in the noise about digital is the resiliency of web offset. When someone decides to do tinyPurls + CodeZ QR at web (offset) speeds and costs, that will be a nice day for EK. It may also be the dawn of Clickable Newspapers instead of textbooks for K -12 education.

Instant Data Forms thrives with Kodak Prosper S10
- News Archive - Print21:
"Chinese business forms and direct mail provider, Instant Data Forms, is the first to buy a new Kodak Prosper S10 Imprinting System.

The Prosper S10 Imprinting System will be installed at Instant Data Forms’ Aidifu Stationery in Shenzen, enabling the company to deliver higher quality printed materials with greater efficiency, as well as added value for its clients.

Designed for inline digital printing on high-speed web devices, the Prosper S10 Imprinting System delivers offset class, variable data printing with significant savings on production costs for direct mail, inserts, transactional documents and other applications."

Territorial Copyrights ( Australia): Compare and Contrast

The crux of the matter is territorial copyright. The US and the UK have territorial copyright. New Zealand has eliminated territorial copyright. It seems that even with the campaign, it's likely that Australia will do the same.

It seems plausible to me that at some future meeting of the WTO, either New Zealand or Australia or a BRIC country will say, we want cheap books also. If I were in Oz, I would fight this fight on the basis of eliminating territorial copyright world wide.

No doubt that will stress the publishing industry. But they have to figure out new models anyway. Kindle is coming to the UK. Kindle + ereader copy cats will probably spend around the globe sooner rather than later.

The threat to copyright is not about government v government. It's about content being fairly priced given the new possibilities of delivering content.

ColorQube v HC ComColor: Compare and Contrast

Video is the best tool for seeing what's new. The web is the best place tool for search. Print is the best tool for figuring out what to do about it.

A Google search on Riso ComColor gets you this.
A Google Search on Xerox ColorQube gets you this.
A Google Search on Xerox ColorCube gets you this.

Getting all the info to make an intelligent decision is the hard part. That's where an independent adds value.

So far I found this about the ColorQube at Greg Walter's Death of the Copier posted in May 2009.
Advertised as offering full color pages at 85ppm for $23,500
Then I found Andy Tribute's column at WhatTheyThink posted in June 2009.
This product line has five models ranging from a low end 90 pages/minute ComColor 3010 at a price of $25,194 to the top of the line ComColor 9050 running at 150 pages/minute with a price of $46,194.
But there are so many more issues to consider.

It would be helpful if someone could do a side by side comparison on a printable A4. It would be much easier to compare and contrast. If they added CodeZ QR + a human readable pURL, a dealer would know who was looking at what, when. They the dealer could make the phone call or send the email, start the real conversation, and maybe close a deal.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ek keeps fighting. Go team Kodak. A letter of intent isn't a delivered product, but a step in the right direction

Kodak Announces Webcrafters Signs for PROSPER Press with Stream Technology:
"In the next major milestone for KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology, the company announced today that Webcrafters, Inc., a nationally recognized book printer headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, signed a letter of intent to purchase a KODAK PROSPER Press"

Free life long learning at Starbucks. Not yet, but maybe soon.

A couple of days ago I did a post suggesting that Google Tech Talks + Clickable Print = Graduate Education. Then I read that Yale is putting complete course work at iTunes for free. Now I read that Starbucks is moving from coffee to community involvement.

Coffee houses have a long and noble tradition as centers of learning and publishing. If Starbucks becomes a center of learning in a community that would be good. If they became a center of Community Publishing Centers that would be good for Print.

If Starbucks became a chain of learning centers for bottom of the pyramid high school kids, they could break out of their upper income demographics and move the thing into a new market segment.
Starbucks Goes Back to Its Roots With Cafe Concept - Advertising Age
"CHICAGO ( -- Starbucks is going back to its premium-coffeehouse roots -- by building premium coffeehouses. The chain, in the latest attempt to negotiate its turnaround, is focusing on stores with smaller-batch coffee, community involvement and entertainment."

Is WalMart a Store or a Media Channel or a Printer or a Supermarket or Drugstore? Yes.

Last week we learned that PNI is moving into SMB marketing collateral sold at the WalMart photo counter. This morning I found the snippet below
from Advertising Age
Marketing: Walmart Browbeats Marketers Over Ad Budgets "BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- Walmart has launched an aggressive push to have marketers divert their consumer media and marketing budgets into the giant retailer's growing ad budget and in-store marketing programs, using a simultaneous push to clear underperforming brands off its shelves as extra leverage.
The implied threat for marketers that don't go along with demands for more marketing funds is an increased risk of delisting.
The implied threat for marketers that don't go along with demands for more marketing funds is an increased risk of delisting.

In recent months, the country's largest retailer has been quietly rolling out a system -- the cost-supplement initiative -- that marketers and industry consultants say directs marketers to divert money proportionate to their share of sales to Walmart marketing programs. Walmart is looking for a share not just of trade-promotion funds but also consumer-ad dollars. The vehicles Walmart wants funded include co-branded TV and other media ads, in-store TV and banner ads on

Bold play
It's probably the boldest retailer grab for suppliers' consumer-marketing funds ever, if only because the amounts involved are so huge. Some package-goods companies do more than 30% of their U.S. business at the retailer.

Ooops! AT&T: The iPhone's Achilles' Heel

So the good news for Apple is that make nice money from AT&T. The bad news is in the snippet below. With Android being released on everything else, I'm thinking that Apple will figure out a better business model going forward.

AT&T: The iPhone's Achilles' Heel
Seeking Alpha:
"When Om Malik of GigaOM said he was breaking up with his iPhone 5 months ago because of the failures of AT&T (T), I must admit, I thought he was overreacting. I was wrong.

Since I switched to AT&T from Verizon (VZ) just over 2 years ago to get the iPhone (which, of course, AT&T has exclusively in the U.S.), there have been no shortage of shortcomings by AT&T. But as of late, I’ve been noticing things getting much, much worse. And I’m hardly the only one. And so it’s time to call out AT&T on those failures. And plead with Apple (AAPL) not to renew its exclusive contract with AT&T when it expires next year.

In my mind, the most recent AT&T failure is completely inexcusable. Its visual voicemail system — which is the only way to be notified of voicemails on the iPhone — has been down for many users for days, if not weeks. And AT&T apparently didn’t bother to tell anyone. What does this mean? Thousands, or hundreds of thousands or maybe even millions of missed connections, that could be vital for personal lives, business and a host of other things. I’m simply dumbfounded by the failure."

What Gartner doesn't get about epaper. It's made for reading. Reading is a niche, but growing market.

I found a report of a Gartner report on epaper in my in box. A snippet follows.
Gartner reports on threats and opportunities offered by e-paper
"Low power consumption, legibility, similarity to paper and environmental advantages were highlighted as driving the adoption of e-paper. However, the lack of content for e-readers, lack of support for colour, the difficulty displaying moving images and the falling cost and increasing quality of rival display technologies such as OLED and LCD displays and the high cost of e-readers were barriers that need to be overcome for the technology to succeed."
Epaper is the perfect display technology for reading. If you've tried a Kindle you know what I mean. Bezos has it just right. But it's hard for me to see how epaper is going to every find a market against smart phones for everything else. Unless someone invents a couple of order of magnitude decrease in the cost for video.

The opportunity for e paper is to increase the number of people who read,. This is still a small niche market with lots of room for growth. Add epaper readers to clickable print teaching supplementals and education has a great new tool kit to create more people who read.

The more people who read, the bigger the market for e paper.

When A Science of Learning gets to USA Today It's good news for Clickable Print and CodeZ QR

From USA Today
"New insights from many different fields are converging to create a new science of learning that may transform educational practices," begins a report led by Andrew Meltzoff of the University of Washington in Seattle. The review in the current Science magazine makes the case for psychologists, neuroscientists, roboticists and teachers combining to quietly create a new field that combines everything from how brains grow to how classrooms work into a new kind of learning research.

For example, a companion study in the current Science by John Gabrieli of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, illustrates how neuroscience and education researchers have teamed up to tackle dyslexia, a difficulty with reading and vocabulary that afflicts 5% to 17% of children. Behavioral and brain measures can now identify dyslexic tendencies in infants, and lead to teaching that can "prevent dyslexia from occurring in the majority of children who would otherwise develop dyslexia," according to the study.
The new role for Print
The crux of what the science is telling us is that
Learning Is Both Social And Computational,
Supported By Neural Systems Linking People.

The crux of what Knowledge Management is telling us is that

some of the best features of enterprise 2.0 tools is their behind the scenes activity to create a searchable archive of social interactions as a byproduct of their use.

Clickable Print teaching materials connected to the Cloud have "behind the scenes activity to create a searchable archive of social interactions as a byproduct of their use."

CodeZ QR is the first information rich scalable QR technology that has gotten on my radar. By embedding user specific information in the QR it allows the interaction between a student and their Printed teaching materials to emit the granular information that can be stored, searched and used to create actionable information in real time to guide teaching interventions.

It's also probably a big deal for marketing. But that's much less interesting to me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What's up with RIso?

I got this on twitter from the Printing News feed:
RISO Inc. to Open Boston Branch
Which took me to this:

RISO currently has 35 open job positions in its direct operations across the country and the August branch opening will provide a source of new job opportunities in the Boston area. RISO’s new Boston branch will be located at 300 Rosewood Drive in Danvers, Massachusetts.

For more info, go to

After a bit of searching I got to this:


British Columbia Institute of Technology
North River School
Rialto Education Association
Union Parish School District
University of Pittsburgh and the Falk School
Broward Community College

Is the villain of the piece Amazon or is it Holt,Rinehart & Winston or Penguin or is it DRM or is it Cloud computing.

Here's my take:
A lawyer at a publisher got wind that they didn't have the rights to sell 1984 or Animal Farm. They were afraid of getting sued. They called the lawyer at Amazon and threatened to either sue them or just needed help to cover their backside.

The Amazon lawyer had a conference call with some of the techs. The question at hand was "What are we going to do?" A tech says we can remove the "illegal" copies from everyones Kindle. "Great! say the lawyers. Someone pulls the switch. And everyone is happy.

Then Jeff finds out. The brand damage is in the millions. All the lawyers are going to be busy, being busy for the next couple of months.

According to this update, the books were deleted from the Cloud not from people's Kindles. That's not the way I understood it, but we'll have to wait a bit to get some clarity.
UPDATE: Sunday 2:33 PM EDT
The issue is caused not by DRM, but by cloud computing. The problem is that Amazon has a cloud service in which Kindle customers can keep their e-books on Amazon's shelf, and shuffle them around to any Kindle-enable device they have like a Kindle proper, or an iPhone running the Kindle app . Customers can even delete a book from their Kindle and get it back from the cloud at a later date.

The event is that Amazon removed the book from the cloud, not that it had DRM in it. If you are concerned by this, you should be concerned by the cloud service. The cloud service enabled Amazon to respond to a legal challenge by removing customers' data from the cloud. They didn't need DRM to do it. In contrast, if iTunes store or the Sony e-book store had improperly sold a book, they wouldn't be able to revoke it because they don't have a cloud service as part of the store. eMusic, incidentally, regularly adds and removes music from their store with the waxing and waning of desire to sell it. This is why we need to look at it for what it is, a failure in a business model and in the cloud service.

David Pogue's column at today's NYTimes has a rich stream of comments.
My favorite, so far.
I checked, and it seems that “Holt, Rinehart & Winston Inc” are the copyright holders. On the other hand, Penguin Books are also publishers of the book on some websites. Anyway, it seems that one of the two are responsible for this.
Here's the one that relates to education.
And what happens to people who highlight and annotate the books? Searchable and hideable annotations should be a major benefit for ebooks. But if your books may suddenly disappear, that can be a lot of wasted time.

I never write in books, but for some take lots of notes on my computer. I want a good ebook reader for the books I need to reference. I won’t buy one where my annotations may disappear.

A few of the others for your perusal. Compare and contrast.
Many public libraries now have ebooks which can be borrowed with a library card, just like printed books. So for those of you looking for a way to get your ebooks for free, go to the same place that’s been lending books for more than a century. It seems like many tech savvy people are not library users by nature so they don’t realize that libraries have adopted new technologies. Through my local library’s website I can download ebooks and audiobooks as well as access dozens of databases that I would have to pay for otherwise. It’s great - and it’s all free.
. . .
Anybody working on backing up content on the Kindle?’
Of course - Do a quick Google search and there are scripts out there to to take Kindle AZW files and convert them into non-DRM’d MOBI files. You can save them, back them up, put them back on your Kindle or read them on any PC or device that supports the Mobipocket format. (The Kindle format is just a MOBI file with DRM and renamed AZW). I’ve been doing this for all the books my wife and I have bought.
. . .
I just wanted to note that since the copyright on George Orwell’s works has expired in Australia, you can read and download the books here for free:
. . .

The publisher is being doubly foolish by refusing to sell copies of a book that can be obtained online for free anyway. What are they thinking? Do they not realize any amount of sales is better than $0?

Amazon reveals the defensible value of the Printed Book

The issue is security. Content connected to the web is resilient, findable, very hard to eliminate, but there is no certainty that what you have is what you will have. It is not like holding Paper in your hand.

That's why photo books are a growing business and independent writers want to hold the book in their hands, not merely store it on the web. It's also why improvements in education scale once they include the Print piece.

From the Aardvark Speaks
Complaining that Amazon cut the access to some e-books is like complaining that your Kindle doesn't work when there is no electric power. It's a condition that is inherent in the medium, just like "real" books are not easily searchable, bulky and take up a lot of space.
. . .
To illustrate the point that the Amazon case is anything other than an exception, here are some things that happened at The Library in conjunctions with e-books and e-journals:
  • Due to an oversight, a bill for an e-book servive was paid one day after the due date. As a result, access to about 1000 titles was denied for the entire calendar month.
  • The Library subscribed to an e-journal for a few years, then cancelled the subscription. The publisher removed access to the entire journal; the Library could no longer access even the volumes that it had paid for.
  • An e-book publisher went out of business; the Library lost access to hundreds of titles at once.
  • Sometimes, technical/connection problems occur that make hundreds of titles (they are usually bought in packages) temporary unavailable.

At the moment, there is a big uproar because Amazon removed some books from users' Kindle devices (see also [1] [2] [3]).

I quote:

This means that all the reassuring talks by Amazon that e-books are just like books, but better is a load of absolute nonsense. You're not allowed to resell them, you're not allowed to give them away, and apparently, you don't even own them, as Amazon can delete them from your Kindle at any given moment. (Thom Holwerda,

But yes, of course. Excuse me for being blunt, but only highly naive technophiles would ever believe that anything other than the above is the case.

Okay, and innocent, trusting customers. But if somebody like David Pogue seems to be genuinely surprised by this development, it must be a case of naive technophilia.
. . .