Google Ebookstore - Great Expectations In The Cloud

This morning I warmed up my Google Ebook Reader; it was with great expectations that I opened up Great Expectations, the classic Dickens novel, on my iPad.

I was surprised that the ebook reader responded to the iPad swiping motion, so score one for Google. However, the reader did not seem very responsive, seeming to ignore swipes and clicks on the "<" and ">" buttons.

The thing that really gets to me is that the text of the book is full of errors. For example, the exclamation point has been replaced by the numeral "1".


(From Google Ebook Reader version of Great Expectations)

I really like Google, and I'm a fan of a variety of their product offerings (including their free ones, which you sometimes get at Google events [disclosure]), but it's simply not enough to supply book-lovers with badly scanned and OCR'd (optical character recognition) ebooks.

Google's lovable engineers spent a lot of time on this project, and I respect that and salute them! Just to be fair, here's their vision of ebook use, and it's pretty cool.

Or maybe not. I tried running the video, which didn't work and I also tried to find the video on Youtube without success. I think that there might be a problem with using the word "google" in a google search request; perhaps the software sees it as redundant.


(What I see when looking at Google's eBookstore video)

Anyway, I'm sure that the eBookstore future that Google is working diligently to put in place will arrive. After all, sf writers had little doubt that eBooks would be made available; see Stanislaw Lem's electronic book store of the future from Return From the Stars (1961).

See the announcement at Google Blog.

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