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Author: themeateater Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3604  
Subject: Re: E-books are facing a fuzzy future Date: 8/10/2000 4:36 PM
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gmdavis - thanks for the response. Regarding your comments:

gmdavis - There are several companies working on digital paper. Among them e-ink, IBM and Xerox. E-ink seems to be the most aggressive (this seems to be all they do). Xerox is envisioning slightly different uses for digital paper though.

XRX appears to be looking at digital paper as an alternative for paper documents. That's why I referenced the ZD article about E-Books. IMO - XRX approach seems to address the concerns raised in the article. IMO - This is a Plus for XRX.

Regarding E-Ink - they are already in the commercialization phase for their technology. Their 1st use is advertising displays (which is different than the use XRX is pushing for E-Paper). However, XRX doesn't appear to be near commercialization. And XRX has been expermenting with this concept for a far longer time period than E-Ink. This is a Minus for XRX. IMO - They should be further ahead than E-Ink.
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gmdavis - 3M has partnered with Xerox and is producing digital paper for Xerox. It wasn't clear if this was for sale yet or just prototypes.

This was posted on the PARC website, it's my impression that this is just prototypes.
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gmdavis - Xerox is the majority shareholder in ContentGuard joint venture with MicroSoft. MS has a very small interest.

That is my understanding & part of my frustration. MSFT has been getting a lot of press about E-Books (and also statements about Copyright protection.) I don't know if MSFT has their own protection scheme in place or they plan on using the one from the XRX joint venture. If they are using XRX technology, do they plan on giving XRX any credit for developing it?

Over the last three days there's been a lot of press on MSFT & E-books. Here's a link to one published today & some relevent comments about copyright protection.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000809/tc/microsoft_barnesandnobledotcom_dc_2.html

....Microsoft and the Association of American Publishers also said they planned to work together closely to fight electronic book piracy.

Microsoft, which is a member of the association, said in a statement it would provide technology to identify illegal content on the Internet and back the effort financially.


Don't know why XRX isn't mentioned? Is MSFT playing both ends? No answers just questions.
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gmdavis - Xerox PARCs website displays their mission statement as (paraphrased) "to create discontinuity in our core businesses". This doesn't sound like a company stuck in the copier age. Their straegy is to spin-off companies like ContentGuard (or ScanSoft).

Unfortunately, there appears to be a discontinuity in XRX profit. Until recently, most of these spin-offs happened when a key XRX PARC idea is siezed by an external company more intent of commercialization. The most famous case occured with Apple & MSFT.

It is my fear that it's happening again with digital paper technology and Copy Protection Technology.
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gmdavis - I'm very glad that someone responded to this post. I'm basically in agreement with the points you're making but I'm just trying to expand upon them, and highlight certain subtle ramifications. I'm glad XRX has these technologies (re- digital paper), but frustrated that XRX isn't further along with their commercialization.

Bruno the Meateater
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