Recently on the Media Giraffe Forum there has been a lively discussion about Sony finally releasing its eBook reader, the Sony PRS 500. It will cost $350 and will start shipping in November.

Generally speaking, most people on the list seemed pretty unimpressed. The feeling was that the device hasn’t found its niche. The thread evolved into a very interesting discussion about reading habits, the way people use different media, and the implications for journalism.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the different topics, and hope to have a few different takes on this over the coming days. Right now, I want to contrast the eBook to a few other gadgets out on the market or soon to be on the market.

First, it is worth noting that Sony put information about their eBook in the “MP3 and Portable Electronics” category. In the specifications, they say that it supports the MP3 audio format.

This made me think of another MP3 player that also supposed to start shipping in November, the much heralded Microsoft Zune The Zune will cost $250, and unlike the PRS 500 reader, will support color and have WiFi as well as an FM transmitter. It will be a much more collaborative device.

Robin Miller posted about the Nokia 770. It is currently shipping and costs $360. They list it with their phones, although they call it a ‘Internet Tablet’ and the only telephony you can do with it seems to be using the “Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP)”. It has Wifi and Bluetooth. When you are not near a WiFi hotspot, they suggest using 3G services on a phone connected with Bluetooth.

What is particularly interesting about the Nokia 770 is that it runs Linux. As such, it has the potential for a vibrant community to develop new types of tools changing the way people can connect.

Later, I hope to write a little bit more about what some of these new connectivity tools could look like.

Fiona and a fern at Mianus Gorge

Fiona and a fern at Mianus Gorge

Today, Kim, Fiona and I went to Mianus Gorge. Kim sat on a bench at the beginning of the trail as Fiona and I hiked along. Inspired in part by some of Miranda's recent photographs, I took various photos along the way. For more photos, check out my Flickr account.
Originally uploaded by Aldon.

Smoke Bubbles

My letter to my senators about the pending torture bills

What is wrong with our country? I read the news about congressional debates over what constitutes torture and I have to wonder what went wrong. America, the country I love, where I was born, where my forefathers were born has always been the moral beacon in a dangerous world, now that is slipping away, and it is up to you to do something about it.

No, this isn’t just a message urging you to stand up against immoral bills, this is a request for you to show some true moral leadership. Lead the charge against efforts to play word games with torture. Lead the charge to defend a millennium of jurisprudence. Help us get the country back on the right course and be the moral leaders we were destined to be.

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