TKC Extra – Interead

Neil Jones, Interead CEO

The Interead booth at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has a nice wall of “real” books and appearances by authors available on the COOL-ER reader.

Yesterday (January 7, 2010) I spoke first with Erin Mitchell, head of communications for Interead, who got my attention at the booth by asserting that it is a bad idea to have dictionaries built into eReaders, because you learn words better by looking them up in a paper dictionary.  That led to a lively conversation that I enjoyed.

Neil Jones, CEO and founder of Interead, was available later in the day for a chat about why he founded the company and his ambitions for its role in the fast-growing eBook industry.

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Comments 4

  1. thorn wrote:

    better to get out the dictionary? hm. i find that with all the putzing around with the physical object, i frequently forget the sought-after definition almost immediately. this probably is highly individual, as was suggested, but i learn new words best in the same way in which i learned german: in context.

    mr. jones may not have given ‘disinformation’, but he was definitely misinformed. len, i know you are aware that it doesn’t cost money to load one’s own content to the kindle. using the usb cable it’s free — exactly as described with the cool-er reader. one only pays if one wishes to be able to download one’s content via the whispernet.

    i am sorry you were not able to return to the ‘overdrive’ question, which mr. jones appeared to misunderstand, and ask more concretely about the ability to read library material on the cool-er device.

    all in all, the cool-er reader sounds like a nice addition to the marketplace. given the low price-point it is something i might consider for the lighter kind of reading that i generally don’t need to annotate. it would be more attractive yet, if library borrowing were also possible using the device. perhaps one day you will have an opportunity to interview mr. jones in a formal manner, and draw him out on his feelings about the morality of lending/sharing material between institutions and individuals. he was certainly forthcoming about his feelings on the morality of the ‘closed garden’. (and while i am a happy amazon customer i do not think he’s wrong. ‘we-all’ buy lots and lots of print books from amazon, as well as from other booksellers; and amazon is not going broke.)

    i’ve enjoyed your ‘extras’ from CES. thank you for making the effort. fun to hear darlene’s impressions, as well.

    Posted 09 Jan 2010 at 12:00 pm
  2. Rob G. wrote:

    I’m not some Kindle fanboy, but I do get tired of the misinformation. For example, the sharing feature she touts is exactly the same as how the Kindle is set up, though she implies otherwise. And the dictionary comment is pretty absurd. Sounds more like typical spin trying to turn lack of a feature into a feature.

    I’m all for more competition, but this just sounds like more (or less) of the same.

    Posted 11 Jan 2010 at 3:42 pm
  3. Rob G. wrote:

    And it seems Jones and Mitchell in addition to spewing some misinformation about the Kindle can’t even seem to agree with each other. Overdrive is or isn’t an aggregator. The discount is either 20 or 25%. Seriously, you’d think they’d be a little more together on message.

    Posted 11 Jan 2010 at 3:53 pm
  4. Bobo wrote:

    Len, I am so glad that you corrected Jones on the cost of getting documents downloaded to the Kindle — 20 cents — where did that come from? Too bad you were being nice about the misinformation on his comments on sideloading PDFs. I got the sense that Jones kept trying to throw punches at Bezo to the point that he came across bad mouthing Amazon and I can taste his jealousy in my mouth. I agree with others that both Mitchell and Jones were spinning. To me they were preying on people’s ignorance about the existing ereaders. With today’s ease of accessing information, it’s pretty easy to tell who is telling the whole story.

    Posted 19 Jan 2010 at 11:59 pm