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Around the Kindlesphere, May 26, 2010: iPad Do’s and Don’ts, Instapaper, Cheap Android Tablet, 2 Million CreateSpace Titles, Jake Harper, G-Men Probe Apple

This stuff builds up if I don’t let it out in the open, so I hope you don’t mind my sharing:

  • If you’re considering an iPad purchase, Instapaper founder Marco Arment has a balanced take on what it does and doesn’t do, at least for him, at Marco.org.
  • Speaking of Marco and Instapaper, may I say that Instapaper is absolutely the most important tool that I use in my relentless effort to keep up with what is going on not only in the Kindlesphere but in the entire world. I use it every day with my Kindle, my iPad, and my Mac, and it allows me to store away all the interesting tidbits, articles, posts, and websites that I find anywhere on the web, so that I can read them later. I just wish Marco or comebody would come up with an app that would allow me to expand the dimensions of later.
  • I don’t know a thing about who manufactures this $136 8″ Touch Screen TFT LCD Google Android 1.6 Tablet PC w/ WiFi – White (533MHz), but I saw it mentioned at O’Reilly Radar and I’ve gotta admit that the price turned my head.
  • All the publishers who are worried about the Kindle and ebook sales should be at least as worried about the announcement this week that Amazon’s CreateSpace printing, publication, and distribution subsidiary has passed the 2 million title milestone. I could tell them from personal experience that CreateSpace is unmatched when it comes to professional printing quality, production and distribution cost, customer service, and worldwide penetration to bookstores and libraries. For books as well as music, CreateSpace is not just a DIY or indie or self-publishing option; it’s an enterprise solution that is luring a growing number of formerly traditional publishers to a far more profitable and risk-free 21st-century no-inventory model.
  • Speaking of alternative publishing approaches, Barnes & Noble has launched a new direct ebook publishing pathway, presumably to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP). Yet another confirmation that the best way to predict what Barnes & Noble will do at any given time is to look at what Amazon did two or three years ago.
  • Oops, I almost forgot to mention the name of the new Barnes & Noble publishing program. It’s called “pubit.” Long U? Short U? I don’t know. It goes with B&N;’s ebook reader, which is called the “nook.” “pubit.” “nook.” Okay, call me sophomoric for noticing, but isn’t this pretty close to a confirmation that the guy in charge of naming things at B&N; is Jake Harper, the adolescent nephew on Two and a Half Men? Heh, heh. You said “nook.”
  • Reading Brad Stone’s New York Times report today that Justice Department “investigators had asked in particular about recent allegations that Apple used its dominant market position to persuade music labels to refuse to give the online retailer Amazon.com  exclusive access to music about to be released,” I can’t help but wonder if it is not just a matter of time before the G-men start a full-bore inquiry into Apple’s collusion with so-called agency model book publishers to fix prices in the ebook marketplace in order to turn competition upside down in an effort to block Amazon’s pro-consumer ebook pricing strategies.
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