Some people like to watch tennis matches. Some people like to bet on fighting dogs, or chickens, or lizards, or whatever. I like to watch companies duke it out for supremacy in the e-reader market. That's just the kind of nerd I am.
Time Inc. is wading into the battle. Gizmodo is reporting that a leaked internal document states that Time intends to release a device within the next three months. They plan to do so because "there is as-yet no clear winner" in the e-reader battle. Except that Amazon sort of is winning. And a million other companies have produced their own e-readers, both in the US and abroad. I don't know if you remember but Time used to gift shitty cameras with their subscriptions. For real. They were the worst hunks of plastic ever, barely able to register that when you pressed the top button, it was supposed to take a photo. Of the outside world. It managed to do this, but it wasn't pretty.
Elsewhere, Christians spend time deciphering the word of God but tech geeks like to decipher the words of Steve Jobs. The NYT's David Pogue interviewed Jobs after the recent Apple event and made it seems like His Holiness had said that Apple will not be wading into the e-reader department. TechCrunch got access to the raw interview and their take on it is that Jobs wants an integrated device, i.e. this new tablet coming out in early 2010, not a stand alone e-reader. His Holiness is of course 100% right. E-readers are never going to catch on. It is ridiculous in this day and age to buy a device that only does one thing.
Also in the what-the-hell department, Asus is reported to have plans for a dual-screen, yes you read that right, colour touchscreen e-reader that is set to hit the market by Christmas. Now, Asus kicked off the whole netbook craze so I'm fairly sure they have some clue about what they're doing but the $160 price tag is making me suspicious - for two screens and colour?? Unless their CEO is on a suicide mission to take down Amazon, I'm guessing the quality will be at the level of the Cool-er.