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News Kindle DX rejected by universities

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 12 Nov 2009.

  1. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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  2. feedayeen

    feedayeen New Member

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    How about a separate version designed for the blind? It would have the same functionality except it includes a refreshable braille display and a smaller display.

    If they absolutely need text to speech then announce a Kindle that is sold as a medical device. If the Authors' Guild of America says no to that, insult them and cry that they are trying to discriminate against the disabled. Sure it's a cheap shot but the AGA deserves it if they want to claim a robotic voice and a computer algorithm violates their rights.
     
  3. SlowMotionSuicide

    SlowMotionSuicide Come Hell or High Water

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    This:
    +1
     
  4. jsheff

    jsheff New Member

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    What? You mean you wouldn't pay to go to a recital of Hamlet starring Steven Hawking?
     
  5. ChaosDefinesOrder

    ChaosDefinesOrder Vapourmodder

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    +2
     
  6. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    +3.

    I would've loved an e-book reader at uni, I can't even imagine how useful it would've been if all the textbooks were available for it.
     
  7. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove New Member

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    Hmm sure I agree with feedayeen, however should the kids not learn to READ!!!??

    I mean if there is a text to speech function how much do you want to bet that 90% of the kids that have normal sight would just have the book read out to them instead of actually reading it?

    Sure for blind kids this would be optimal, could they make the text to speech function something the teachers/parents would have to enable so that only kids who needs it get it?
     
  8. [USRF]Obiwan

    [USRF]Obiwan New Member

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    So basically, because of the people at the "Authors' Guild of America" all the blind people still can't hear any books.
     
  9. licenced

    licenced Member

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    So the publishers decide whether to enable text-to-speech in their books but it's Amazon's fault they don't?
    Have I missed something?
     
  10. feedayeen

    feedayeen New Member

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    Students without visual impairments wont use it for the same reason that you don't use the text to speech functionality in Firefox and Adobe pdfs. Text to speech sucks and it will for the foreseeable future.

    While they suck, it still beats braille because you can't do anything with your hands while you are reading and I would imagine that there are significant limitations as to how much and fast you can read with braille displays.


    This is still moot because if it is sold as a medical device, those without disabilities wont use it.
     
  11. Skiddywinks

    Skiddywinks Member

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    That was exactly the vibe I got.
     
  12. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Only a fairly small proportion of blind people actually read braille - it's notoriously difficult to learn, especially if you lose your sight later in life and don't do it when you're five. It also isn't terribly fast. Not to say that a braille version wouldn't be fantastic for people who can do it. Braille is very bulky compared to print, so braille editions of books are often cruelly abridged and this wouldn't need to suffer from that, but it's far from a universal solution.
     
  13. Spigsy

    Spigsy Member

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    I have no doubt that the 'complaints' from the authors guild of America equates to a heavy handed threat of legal action which has blanket support from all publishers- who happen also to be Amazon's suppliers.

    Spoken word is a niche market which supports a small part of the literary canon- where available I think it will always be chosen over text to speech by the visually impaired. Its a crying shame that this chance to offer a far wider range of texts to these people will be tied down by laywers; I expect to see this service offered as soon as they work out an appropriate economic distribution model where they can milk more cash from those who need this the most.

    Disgusting, but absolutely predictable.
     
  14. sear

    sear Guest

    You realise the only reason for this is so that the faculties can still charge ludicrous amounts of money for their own textbooks, right?
     
  15. BOFH

    BOFH New Member

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    I don't see how this is legal?

    {QUOTE}
    From the dyslexia point of view there are two problems with UK copyright law:

    1. Since the passage of the Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002, UK copyright law has contained an anomaly. The Act gave visually impaired people rights to have copyright texts converted so that they can read them as comfortably as possible, without needing to get permission from the publisher. Dyslexic people, however, although equally covered by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, were not included in the 2002 Act and so do not enjoy the same rights.This means that many dyslexic people waste a lot of time scanning text so that they can read it (using OCR and Text to Speech). And the organisations that create Talking Books and do other conversions for visually impaired people cannot serve those with other reading impairments and so have to discriminate against them.
    2. For visually impaired people, too, it is unnecessarily difficult and expensive to make these conversions. In most cases they must scan the text from the printed form. This is ridiculous because, in practically all cases today, the text was already in electronic form before it was printed. With proper tools and a little more care in the publication work flow process, this electronic text could be converted into a form suitable for reading-impaired people, at the press of a button. Publishers should be compelled to make an electronic version available to approved organisations, via a central electronic deposit.
     
  16. MrBurritoMan

    MrBurritoMan New Member

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    Score another point for those "all so noble" unions that are crippling countries and industries alike.
     
  17. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    well, without ability to write on the device, it really can't replace paper books.

    my old man always says, if you don't have any marks on your book, you haven't read it. (technical book)
     
  18. B3CK

    B3CK New Member

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    This whole thing makes me think there is way more going on, politically. As stated before, they already had a flag to use to mark the book as Speech enabled or not, and on top of that, they could have the same book sold at a higher price for the speech enabled version.
    As to reading most books, having speech to text version vs. an actual person reading the book is very different. So much of the book is lost when hearing a computer read a sentance vs. an actual person reading aloud. Not so much of an issue in text books, but not every person that owns a kindle is using it for text books only.
    And I can see how some authors get more money for audible books, as there is more cost involved with getting it there, but like stated before, they can use the flag method, or sell a second audible copy at a different price.
     
  19. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I will never ever use a handheld device to read if I can buy the same book in a book shop, made of real paper. There is nothing better than relaxing with a good book at home and for me, a REAL book is quite an essential part of that.

    More on topic:

    Amazon tried to do something good there but simple-minded people couldn't see the benefit, only the money they'd potentially lose.
    You could replace "Amazon" with any company as there's always some group or another getting scared of not making the most possible amount of money with a certain product so they just sue. What a nice world we're living in...
     
  20. Furymouse

    Furymouse Like connect 4 in dagger terms

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    How does a Kindles lack of text to speech differ from a regular paper textbook? I know for a fact my college books never read to me.

    Conspiracy theory:
    I think this is mostly due to textbook publishers realizing that they could be losing vast amounts of money if such a device were available. Paying nearly $300 for a " new " edition of the same old textbook would look like highway robbery. They want to keep things the way they are, so they throw their weight around to get their way. [/rant]
     
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