This ereader is called "Monocle," and it represents development at the publishing end of ereading instead of at the machine end.
Joseph Pearson, the Australian developer behind Monocle, is interested in competing with embeddable Google books in a way that makes sense to me.
From his tiny article called "If books are part of the web":
"What if you could access a book like any other web page, on any device with a modern browser? And you could read them like real books, whether you?re online or on a plane?
Maybe all the talk of ereading devices just reinforces an artificial barrier to entry. Maybe you should be able to get to your bookshelf from any computer anywhere, without software. Maybe DRM is just an occasional password prompt. Maybe there?s no such thing as an ebook file. Maybe there?s nothing to download. Maybe the best ereader is the one you have with you.
Perhaps you can get lost in the book this way."
If I were a publishing company, I would convert all of my books into "Monocle" tomorrow and then build a paywall.
I would get 100% of the profit from each "Monocle" book sold. Additionally, I would get 100% of the marketing information on my readers. I would not have to worry about piracy, or swelling the revenues of a company which seems mainly interested in destroying me, like Google or Amazon.
And you could do this tomorrow. You don't have to wait for the next "device." By using Monocle, you will have complete control over the destiny of your products while also reaping all of the rewards.
I sound like a commercial, but keep in mind, Monocle is open-source and free.
HOW DO YOU USE MONOCLE?
Go here and learn how to implement the .xhtml. Getting down and dirty with the essential components will make it much easier for you to tweak Monocle to suit the specifications of your publishing project.
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR A MONOCLE BOOK?
Whatever you want. There is no parasite taking a percentage, like Scribd, Barnes and Noble, Apple, or Amazon. Your books can be free or ludicrously expensive. They will be difficult to pirate, because they won't exist as epub files that anyone can download. They will exist in "the cloud," meaning that they will simultaneously be accessible to everyone and yet never out of your control.
HOW DO YOU READ MONOCLE BOOKS WITHOUT AN INTERNET CONNECTION?
HTML-5 has this awesome ability to save web-pages you have accessed, even if you don't have a working internet connection. The people who made "Monocle" are also hard at work developing applications that will collate and organize Monocle books, such as their new program called "booki.sh."
BUT ON WHAT KIND OF MACHINE WILL PEOPLE READ SUCH A BOOK?
They will read these books on their damn computers and damn cell phones. As we can surely all see by now, damn computers and damn cell phones are far better than dedicated ereaders, which are single-function devices that only a small percentage of the population could ever want to buy.
As tablet computers get smaller and cell-phones get more powerful, the technologies will slowly converge, making cloud-based ebooks the universal standard. This is already Google's plan, yet they want to take a percentage from every ebook sold. Why should we let them do this?
HOW DO YOU DRM a "MONOCLE BOOK?"
You can DRM a "Monocle" book with a simple password.
You can make people get accounts to your book stash the same way you make people get accounts to porn sites. New books would be uploaded regularly, and "account holders" would have access to your entire catalog of old books.
Imagine, in the future, being Haruki Murakami's publisher.
You wouldn't worry about making 15 different kinds of ebooks so that all the competing devices out there could sell his novels. You would make one ebook file, embed it on your website, and then the machine-makers would scramble to create the best products to read this file.
As a publisher, you could spend your time making strange and elaborate Murakami book covers for the Espresso Book Machine, or just downing whiskey in Tokyo nightclubs with strippers who have sheepmen in their heads.
Posted by miracle on Mon, 25 Oct 2010 06:28:11 -0500 -- permanent link