Ubisoft is so bent on stopping piracy that it has turned itself into a virtual nanny, peeking over your shoulder at all times to verify that your PC copy of Assassin’s Creed 2 isn’t a torrented file. Shacknews reports that if gamers go offline while playing the game, they’ll have to stop immediately and no recent progress will be saved. [More]
Earlier this week, I posted about Kate’s bad experience getting her Sony Reader upgraded. She hadn’t asked for an update, but was told by Sony to send it in, she says. What she got back was a busted Reader that wouldn’t work, and a demand from Sony to pay for any repairs.
Happily, over the past two days Sony reps have been in contact with Kate and made things whole again.
Shortcovers, an ebook retailer that I recommended to a Sony Reader owner last month, has morphed into something called kobobooks.com, and it’s now partially owned by Borders. If you own an ereader other than a Kindle, or if you read ebooks primarily on a smartphone, you might want to add it to your list of sources for ebooks. [More]
Cory Doctorow is self-publishing a book and documenting the process for Publishers Weekly. His latest column is about selling audiobook versions of his past works, and how both Apple and Audible have refused to budge on their anti-consumer policies when it comes to digital rights management (DRM) and end user license agreements (EULAs). Even though both companies get paid the same either way, and even though both Doctorow and his publisher, Random House, want to sell the content without these restrictions, Apple and Audible have said no. [More]
After a reader complained that a computer game he downloaded from Stardock was broken, company president and CEO Brad Wardell refunded the money but said the problem was probably caused by a fan-created patch.
Tim downloaded a computer game from Stardock but found that it’s been crippled by DRM issues that treat him like he’s a common pirate. At first he found customer service unresponsive and thought he would be out $10 (Stardock ended up refunding his money).
Michael bought a Sony Pocket Reader last month, but with the exception of $10 bestsellers, he’s finding that other books he wants are priced higher than he’s willing to pay. For example, Tad Friend’s memoir Cheerful Money is $10 on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble, but $17.49 from Sony. Michael wants to know if we have any advice on how to get Sony to lower their prices.
The Motion Picture Association of American wants to rent movies to TV viewers earlier in the release window, but they don’t want anyone potentially streaming that video out to other appliances. That’s why last week they went back to the FCC to once again ask for the power to disable analog ports on consumer television sets.
Kindle coming to a PC near you next month. Amazon’s Kindle software will be available as a free download for PC users starting next month. Versions for Macs and BlackBerrys will be available next year. All will have DRM, though users will be spared the pain of having to download their locked-down lit via AT&T’s 3G network, which has replaced Sprint’s more reliable data network in recent hardware Kindles.
One of the big selling points about the Nook, the new ebook reader introduced this week by Barnes & Noble, is that unlike Amazon they’ll let you virtually “loan” your ebook to a friend for up to 14 days (if the publisher allows it). What they don’t tell you–some smart readers over at MobileRead sussed it out–is that you can only do this one time per book. You’d better lend wisely–and your friend had better finish that book within 14 days.
Let’s be honest here. There is not very much overlap between the groups of “people who are quite tech-savvy” and “quilters.” (I can say that because I’m a quilter! Put down the rotary cutters!) That’s why reader T. is annoyed that the makers of popular quilt design software Electric Quilt only offer their users four “activations,” or installations on a particular operating system, and has their users scared to upgrade their Windows version or purchase a new computer.
The ebook “war” is a race to the bottom, apparently, with Barnes & Noble trying to out-do Amazon on DRM stupidity. A reader emailed B&N customer service to point out that their “free books” offer consists of 5 public domain titles that are no longer protected under copyright, yet are still locked down with digital rights management (DRM). Their response? “For copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.”