Sunday, January 22, 2012



the open-content textbooks collection that anyone can edit.
2,425 books with 40,134 pages

Wall St: "Apple Worth More than Greece"

At $400 billion, Apple is worth more than (GDP of) Greece

Here is why:
Apple Profit More Than Doubles as IPhone Demand Fuels Sales - Businessweek

Here is result:
Things Apple is worth more than

iBooks 2: Apple re-inventing textbooks, for iPad only

1 hour video, well worth watching...
Apple - Apple Events - Apple Special Event January 2012
You will need Apple's QuickTime to watch it...

Here are some facts mentioned:
  • High school drop-out rate in US is 30-40%
  • Textbooks are expensive ($50-70), and re-used for 5 years, not in great shape, heavy

    Not mentioned, but known otherwise:
    Steve Jobs described textbooks as an '$8 billion a year industry ripe for digital destruction',
    in conversations with his biographer Walter Isaacson.

    Here is what is new:
  • iBooks 2, a new/improved iPad app for interactive books
  • iBooks Author, a new "free" Mac app for making those interactive books
  • "Textbooks" section on iTunes, for those interactive books
  • iTunes U app for iPad, to view free education materials (books?) on iTunes U
  • iTunes U for K-12 education (so far it was only for universities)

    Apple in Education

    The bottom line: a well polished system for teaching, based on iPad and Mac.
    It looks great!

    But this is an "exclusive club". No iPad and Mac, no iBooks.

    And there is a problem, hidden in the "fine print" of iBooks Author license.
    While the tool is free, materials created by it MUST be distributed bu iTunes.
    The author gets 70% and Apple 30%, as usual. It could be free also.
    The material is "locked in" Apple platform. So "free" is not really free anymore.
    Everybody needs at least an iPad.

    Here is an opinion by Sascha Segan @ PC Magazine:
    iBooks Author: You Work For Apple Now

    There is no doubt that there will be imitations of iBooks.
    It would be great if they are done as HTML5, to be completely portable.
    And they should be able to work nice on 7" screens, such as Amazon Kindle Fire.
    The target should be a $100 tablet that everybody can have.

    The platform can be called "Web Books", or "we Books".
    While Apple has "i" line for private exclusive use ("I Books"),
    there could be a parallel "we" line for a collective good, like Wikipedia.

    In fact, Apple is already using ePub, that is just zipped HTML, CSS and images,
    with some proprietary extensions. The key for Apple is ability to control distribution,
    so this could encourage people to produce content...