Kindle books on Outernet?


#1

I’m donating a Lighthouse to a village in Nepal. Part of their education program is learning English.

I’m going to provide them with tablets and perhaps a Linux netbook to access the Outernet Library.

I’m also considering donating some form of Kindle Paperwhite or something else with e-Ink because it’s perfect for books and has a long battery life. Does Outernet have Kindle books? Or any content that the Kindle could make use of? I believe a Kindle Paperwhite doesn’t run a browser so I’m not sure how to transfer documents from Lighthouse to Paperwhite.

Also, is it possible to recommend Kindle books for broadcast on Outernet?


#2

Looks like I was mistaken. Kindle Paperwhite does have a browser, it just isn’t fully featured.

Anyone have experience with a Kindle Paperwhite (or any e-Ink reader) with Lighthouse?


#3

Hi Tom, I own a Paperwhite. The used book format is .mobi and .azw. Ebooks in this format can be downloaded by Kindle. But these are proprietary formats. The .epub format is used by nearly every other brand of ebook-readers. And also it is easily converted with the “Calibre-ebook-companion”, a piece of software, that has endless possibilities.
For this reason, I guess, books in the epub-format would perhaps be more useful in the outernet. Anyway, I also would be happy, if ebooks would be transmitted to the outernet.

Have a nice day,
Wolfgang


#4

Thanks for the info, Wolfgang.

I’ve tried learning about the various eBook formats and their pros and cons. What a mess. I’ve also struggled with converting between formats using Calibre. I’m now reading a book on my Kindle Fire that I converted The anti-aliasing is terrible and occasionally a letter just disappears completely. But I digress…

Wikipedia has a comparison of e-book formats. This article tries to simplify it, but it’s still a lot of information to digest.

I’m not sure which format would be best. We would obviously prefer a non-DRM, non-proprietary format that is compatible with a majority of devices and e-book readers. We also want a format that has an active community. Perhaps ePub, but it sounds like Kindle won’t read those. Maybe .mobi?


#5

Maybe it makes sense to have the same book on three formats: raw text, epub and mobi


#6

Yes, please! Spread the books in a format that can be downloaded and read directly with a variety of ebook-readers and smartphones!


#7

The other concern that comes to mind is which eBooks to distribute - being that they are not going to broadcast intellectual property without permission.
Luckily, a lot of eBooks are free and in the public domain, including a lot of classic literature, so I don’t see that being an issue.

I have a Kobo e-reader, and it uses the .epub format, with or without DRM. It might be a better pick for compatibility?

Also, +1 for Calibre being awesome. I’ve had great luck converting ebooks to and from varying formats.


#8

SmashWords is an ebook vender that provides digital books in a variety of downloads and extensions.


#9

I’ve been trying to contact someone at Amazon who could allow us to distribute their free Kindle ebooks, but have not had any success. Related to ebooks over Lighthouse, we did a quick demo a couple months ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In-TPaQ5ldA


#11

I’ll be sending them an email today, but if you know anyone who works there, an introduction would be great.


#12

@Syed I am interest in what was the outcome, did you managed to get hold of Amazon?
Are there any book being distributed over Outernet?


#13

No–no traction with Amazon. They never responded, even after a warm introduction.


#14

@Syed

And are there any books distributed vie Outernet?

What is actually send down to the users of Outernet/Dreamcatcher 3.0?


#15

Gutenburg Books

I remember 2 years ago you distributed some of the Gutenburg Book titles. Is that worth revisiting? Ken


#16

One way of doing this for maximum utility would be

  1. Broadcast .epub files

  2. Run epub.js on Skylark so anyone with a browser can read them eg here

  3. Periodically run a script to convert epub > mobi for any Kindle users


#17

Yeah, though the feedback we got from most people very familiar with Project Gutenberg is that there were only around 100 books that were of interest to people.

We really want to broadcast books, but we run into the issue of interesting, relevant books that do not have licensing issues.

@1bit We are currently sending weather data, news feeds, and APRS messages.


#18

Has anyone actually checked with people who “ware” using Outernet with the devices that worked in L-band what would the users want/need?

How about distributing ZIM files of MediaWiki’s of all sorts (Wikipedia articles …)?
There is quite a few website using this format, and easy to use reader http://www.kiwix.org/ is also available and can perhaps be distributed over Outernet.

How about little bit of interaction with the users?

Users of Outernet would have to have either a mobile phone (with Wi-Fi or just SD card slot) or PC to receive the material from Outernet device, so maybe setup a SMS Gateway where could users from remote parts of world without access to internet, but access to mobile phone TEXT their request for books or other sources needed?

So user would send SMS to the Gateway with simple help and receive commands allowed:
and reply something like this:
O1 Crop harvesting
O1 meaning Outernet 1 Satellite covering India and then information about harvesting crops …

Or even better just calling the SMS Gateway for 1 second would result in SMS with command accepted by the gateway being send to that number

How about lets say every first day in month distribute something that is requested by users of Outernet?

Same with Android Alternative App Store https://f-droid.org/
The Store app itself is cca 7MB
and for example Medic Log app that Log basic medical information
https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.paladyn.mediclog/
is about 48 KiB

With satellites covering different regions, will there be same content transmitted to all regions or could this be made more specific to the specific regions being covered by those satellites?


#19

Maybe a ‘book of the day’ would be a way to go

There are probably 365 good public domain books

You could probably get away with repeating for a year or two at least.


#20

I like the idea of “a book a day”, too.

I looked at the file formats and I strongly suggest .epub, with maybe a epub to mobi converter in the next skylark release. ebup is much smaller, and an open file format.

Just one example to make my point:

ebup is 111 kB
mobi is 496 kB

this is somewhat expected though, epub is packet into zip, mobi seems to be packet into something, too, but I have no idea what.
To make an informed decision one would need to look at a few more things, expecially why mobi is so big in the first place. Maybe someone knows more and can enlighten us.

  • Arne

#21

I like the ideas as well, but , what is the target group of this service??

If it is for people on boats, then they will get access to internet on their return from voyage, or at the nearest port of call to download the books, or they will already have them downloaded.

If you want to use it while you travelling, then you will have to leave it somewhere stationary to download the data and in that case, you can not travel during that time, and you will have to know what is being downloaded so you can plan accordingly your trip with stops etc.

If it is to be used by people in the remote parts of world, then I think that it would be useful it would contain information that could be relevant. While I agree with everyone and as Tony B. once said, Education, Education, Education, the chance of someone trying to read Faust in German may be bit slim, but please correct me if I am wrong.