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Handhelds Books Technology

Nook Color Rooted — Will B&N Embrace the Tablet? 181

itwbennett writes "It can browse the web, edit Office docs, run apps. Is it a low-cost, low-function e-reader? Nope, it's a Nook. And now that XDA has rooted it, how Barnes & Noble responds will determine whether the Nook has a tablet future, says blogger Ryan Faas. 'If the device can be turned into a capable Android tablet (which technically it already is) easily, the $250 price tag certainly beats out some of the competition.'"
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Nook Color Rooted — Will B&N Embrace the Tablet?

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  • Reaction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Barny ( 103770 ) <> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @05:52AM (#34402098) Journal

    How they react will likely depend on their price setting method.

    If the nook was priced under cost and expected to be subsidised by ebook sales, then they will come down on this like apple. If they are making money on the thing in its own right, they may react like a BSD developer.

  • Re:Reaction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:30AM (#34402256)

    This pretty much hits the nail on the head.

    It could well turn out that the interesting price tag is only possible because the tethering supposedly recovers the lower hardware price. You see the same done from printers to cellphones to coffee makers, and it's getting more and more commonplace these days.

    And while I do find this pricing policy despicable and there should be something done about this kind of racketeering (face it, that's what it is. You bought my hardware, now buy the consumables with me or your nifty hardware is a paperweight, how'd you call that?), but until our lawmakers get their fat butts lifted we have to take care that this kind of practice fails.

    Transparency is the friend of free enterprise. When the customer can compare prices AND qualities easily, he can make a better informed choice and thus can reward those that produce a product suitable to the needs of the customer. And once SOME companies return to the policy of producing what the CUSTOMER wants and not what THEY want, we might start to return to a free market economy.

  • Does this mean...? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IBitOBear ( 410965 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:33AM (#34402280) Homepage Journal

    That I can then get _my_ books off of my nook onto my laptop in a readable format?

    Seriously, at $10 for the book or $9 for the ebook (real sample prices for Harry Dresden novels, rounded up by one cent from nook store) there needs to be some way for me to recover "my property" off the device other than buying another one.

    No, actually, I don't own a nook because of the "not really my book" and so the super-shallow discounts for the rental of a title made getting one "kinda dumb" IMHO.

    B&N will _have_ to engage in the war of the lockouts. They likely must contractually. If I can get into the nook in general then those titles they are trying to rent and escrow for me become effective purchases and the various publishers surely don't allow for that. If they did I could get a nook account for my Gentoo laptop and be done with this.

    (HEY Barnes and Nobel! If I could extend a nook account to include my Gentoo laptop as one of my five allowed clone devices, I would have bought the thing. Just Sayin...)

  • Re:Reaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @07:15AM (#34402464)

    Mind you, loss leaders (which subsidised hardware for expensive consumables are) are a distortion of a free market. Anything which undermines it is wholesome and good.

    How? The consumer can decide what they want to buy and where - and get slower prices as a result. If consumables are the real profit center, a store could not sell the loss leader and put some of the savings to lower consumable prices; so the store selling the loss leader either lowers consumable prices or loses money. In the end, the consumer benefits from free market prices.

    A free market allows individuals to set prices and determine desired profits; not some manufacturer or government. Nor does it ensure everyone will make a profit.

  • by jack2000 ( 1178961 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @07:32AM (#34402546)
    A BOOK READER, needs to get jailbroken. Way to go guys, way to go. What's next would you make me give you money to look at your ugly advertisement billboards by the side of the road?
  • Re:Reaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:35AM (#34402866)

    Please explain how this is a distortion of a free market.
    You have supply, demand and a fixed cost.
    Now if the supply and demand equilibrium falls under your fixed cost. That usually means that it may not be the best product to sell. However if over the use of the product there is the ability to bring in more revenue. Then the loss would be considered as an investment. Much the same as an advertising campaign. As right now the cost of the ereader is more then the market wants they will loose a lot more in content.

    It is a classic give away the razor and sell the blades.

    Now yes if it being sold under price B&N will make a fuss as they are giving a way a product that costs them money for no return.

  • Re:Reaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:05AM (#34403056)
    Well, I figured the fact that I was saying something similar to "We all know that 1+1=3..." but I guess when it comes to the free market, such an obviously contradictory statement is commonplace and meant seriously, sadly.
  • Re:Reaction (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:11AM (#34403102)

    the Corporation is anathema to a free market in that they become de-facto government and can then use loss leaders and such to exert their power (and thus unfairly regulate) the market.

    I believe the market you are humorously promoting is not a free market, but one regulated by an Oligarchy.

  • Re:Reaction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by delinear ( 991444 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:28AM (#34403204)
    Agreed - loss leaders in themselves are not a distortion of the free market. What would be a distortion is the producer being able to use the law to prevent people buying the razor and then using their own cheap blades (or in B&N's case, someone buying the Nook and not using it to buy books if it is indeed an example of a loss leader). A free market should allow you to come up with whatever promotional ideas you want to make money, but similarly it should allow your customers to ignore your ideas and do their own thing. The second those ideas have some element that is enforced by law (i.e. you can ONLY use product X with service Y and tampering with X to allow Z is illegal) it is no longer free.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:44AM (#34403326)
    I'm kind of torn on the subject. On the one hand, it's nice to have options, but on the other hand, we shouldn't need to do this in the first place in order to do what we want with paid for content, and by buying into these DRM schemes we're reinforcing their validity. Not only that, it's driving legitimate customers to the tools of piracy in order to do what they should be able to do by default.
  • Re:Reaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by VisiX ( 765225 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:53AM (#34403404)
    In this way it resembles nearly every other law on the books.
  • by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:36AM (#34403834)

    They will be DRMed, but the DRM is cracked and trivial: the key is the name on your credit card plus the credit card number itself. The idea is that you won't be willing to distribute the key. (Which is somewhat silly, since the key is actually an SHA1 hash of your credit card and name, and therefore you're really not giving anything out.)

    I might not be able to work out what name+number made 298AC...898EAB, but B&N certainly can -- they have a list of all the name+number combinations.

  • by DCheesi ( 150068 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:21AM (#34404300) Homepage

    The whole point of B&N (or Amazon) releasing their own e-reader is to lock people into buying e-books exclusively from them. I'm wiling to bet that they subsidize the cost of their devices in exchange for the expected profits from this vendor lock-in. If so, then every Nook that isn't used to buy e-books, or that is used to buy e-books from a rival source, represents a net loss for B&N. Allowing the Nook Color to remain rooted would encourage just such alternative uses, which is why I don't expect it to be tolerated.

  • Re:Reaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:29AM (#34404416)

    Barnes and Noble is, first and foremost, a book retailer, dependant on and beholden to publishers. Since rooting is the first step towards defeating Digital Restrictions Management, I suspect that B&N will fight rooting as hard as they can for as long as they can, regardless of the Nook's pricing model.

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad