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Kno textbook reader to ship this year
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 9, 2010


Pirate Chinese versions of Japan e-books sold online:reports
Tokyo (AFP) Nov 10, 2010 - Unauthorised Chinese versions of popular Japanese novels, including works by best-selling author Haruki Murakami, have been sold as e-books on Apple's online store, Japanese media have reported. Digital versions of Murakami's "1Q84" and of crime novels by Keigo Higashino were being sold without the authors' permission for a few hundred yen (a few dollars) each, the Kyodo News agency and the Asahi daily reported. Higashino, who has not allowed any of his works to be marketed in digital format, told Kyodo: "Of those (books) translated into Chinese, tens of my works appear to have been converted into digital books illegally." "As a copyright holder, I have asked Apple to delete them and am waiting for its response."

The Taiwanese publisher of an authorised Chinese translation of "1Q84" has denied any involvement and said that one of the e-books sold on Apple's App Store was a pirated version of its translation, Kyodo said. The App Store sells digital books that can be viewed on Apple's popular iPhone and iPad mobile devices, among other digital content. Murakami's three-volume "1Q84", of which the first two volumes were released in Japan in May 2009, became instant bestsellers there and have since been translated into Korean and Chinese. Murakami, 61, has often been mentioned as a Nobel literature prize contender, and his novels have drawn international acclaim. His works have been translated into almost 40 languages, include the titles "Norwegian Wood," "Kafka on the Shore" and "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle".

Kno Inc., a California company making a digital textbook reader for students, announced on Tuesday it would begin shipping the tablet computer by the end of the year.

Kno, which has received funding from Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm launched by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, said its 14.1-inch (35.8-centimeter) single screen tablet will cost 599 dollars.

The dual-screen version will sell for 899 dollars.

Kno, which is short for "knowledge," said it was accepting a limited number of pre-orders for an initial shipment that is expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

"Kno's extraordinary benefits represent only a tiny fraction of the overall cost of college," Kno co-founder and chief executive Osman Rashid said in a press release. "When you do the math, it actually pays for itself."

Kno said it has been testing the product with students and received a positive response for both the single and dual screen devices.

Digital textbooks will be sold through the Kno bookstore and cost between 30 percent and 50 percent less than physical textbooks, the company said.

Kno is working with a number of publishers including Cengage, McGraw Hill, Pearson, Macmillan, Bedford, Freeman & Worth, Holtzbrinck, BarCharts Publishing, Kaplan, Random House and University Presses.

"According to the not-for-profit College Board's 2010 report, the average college student spends approximately 1,100 dollars a year on books and supplies," Kno co-founder and chief technology officer Babur Habib said.

"Kno can reduce that cost while bringing education into the 21st Century, providing students with a far superior learning experience than they have today."

The Santa Clara, California-based Kno was founded in May 2009 and announced in September it had received 46 million dollars in the latest round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz and other venture capitalists.

Apple launched its iPad tablet computer earlier this year and a number of other companies have since announced plans to come out with touchscreen devices for reading electronic books or surfing the Web.

The iPad costs between 499 and 829 dollars.

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TECH SPACE
US e-book sales near one billion dollars in 2010: Forrester
Washington (AFP) Nov 8, 2010
Sales of electronic books are expected to hit nearly one billion dollars in the United States this year and to triple by 2015, according to a new report by Forrester Research Inc. The market research firm said US spending on e-books was expected to total 966 million dollars this year, up from 301 million dollars last year and to reach 2.81 billion dollars in 2015. Forrester said the numb ... read more


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