Monday News: QR Codes for instant ebook access; Google purportedly looking at retail space; and a sock puppet goes to prison
Rumor: Google Planning to Open Retail Stores? – Google is supposedly going to be opening retail store to sell its tablets, phones and upcoming Google Glasses. I’d be surprised if Google didn’t opt for partnerships with Target and Best Buy for an in-store boutique. If Google does launch a physical brick and mortar retail experience, I would guess that Amazon can’t be far behind. PCMag.com
Updated: Rakuten Reports Revenues Up in 2012, Kobo Revenue Up 143% – Nate from the Digital Reader reports that Kobo’s revenue was up 143% in 2012 with over 12 million customers around the world. No word on whether Kobo’s partnership with Ratuken will improve their devices or the customer service. The Digital Reader
Online Battle Over Ancient Scrolls Spawns Real-World Consequences – Sent to me by hapax, this NY Times story recounts an astounding case of sock puppetry which ended in a prison sentence. Raphael Golb was found guilty of 30 of 31 counts of wrongdoings, including two felonies. The charges included identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment.. Golb had been found guilty of sending emails pretending to be a professor admitting to plagiarism. This professor had once assisted the FBI and now, in return, the FBI helped him get in touch with an Assistant District Attorney. This launched an investigation which unraveled Golb’s years of defense of his father’s scholarly work regarding Dead Sea scrolls. This defense took the form of up to 80 sock puppets and a concerted attack against another scholar accusing him of antisemitism. NYTimes.com
Hybrid Library: QR Codes Access eBooks in Subway Station – The images that you see here aren’t pictures of books on shelves in a subway station in Bucharest. Instead, it is a photo of spines and covers with QR Codes. See a book you like? Scan the QR code and a sample will be downloaded to your device. You can then read or borrow the title. “The hybrid digital/physical library/bookstore project is a collaboration between Humanitas and Vodaphone – a guerrilla marketing campaign highlighting both the power of mobile technology and the offerings of the bookseller.” WebUrbanist
I love the idea of QR codes to download samples. In fact, I wish that bookstores tested it. I personally would love to be able to wander around in my local bookstore and download samples of intresting books. Another option would be for any book I added to my wishlist, a sample downloaded to my phone/tablet/e-reader.
( Actually, I would love if swedish e-book stores started to use samples in the first place. But that’s another discussion entirely.)
I like the idea of QR codes at bookstores too. I already like that I can scan the bar code of a book using the GR Android app. I can add it to my “to read” list if I can’t afford to buy it right then and I can read some reviews of it to see if it’s worth reading at all. If I could scan a QR code to actually read a bit of a book, that would be even better.
The QR code idea for bookstores is a great idea and not just to get samples. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go into our local bookstore and browse around and either buy the print copy or download the book right there. This could be a real boost for independent bookstores if they are open-minded enough to adapt the technology.
re: QR codes for book samples–Didn’t B&N already do something along these lines when they debuted the Nook? That you could bring your device to a store and use their wifi to read/sample any book you liked from the Nook catalogue. Is that still in place?
Yes! You can still read samples on the nook anytime/anywhere, and you can also read a large chunk of a book if you wish in store. I often wander around the store downloading samples of books I see.
Is it naive of me to wish that libraries could use QR codes as well?
@BrandyJ.: Lots of libraries do use QR codes. The tough part is figuring out how to use them, and in what way. I seem to remember reading about a library that put (or was planning to put?) QR codes on their DVD boxes that would link to trailers for those movies. The library I work at has been experimenting with QR codes a little, too.
That academic sock puppet story is amazing. The bit at the end where the convicted puppeteer wonders if he’ll go insane in prison…dude, you are already there, having devoted years of your life to creating fictional people to defend your father’s reputation. A psychologist would have a field day with his daddy complex.
Catching up late, but to be scrupulously honest, I did not send the link about sock-puppeting, but another one.
However, this story is indeed amazing. I continue to be flabbergasted at the people who somehow think that if they do something online, it doesn’t count as “real”.