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Sony’s PR folks sent us a note, Bennett from Goodman Media International writes – “I am part of the PR team working with Sony on the launch of the Reader (PRS-500) ebook reading device. As I am sure you are aware, a great deal of information and misinformation has been floating around the internet about the product since its announcement at CES in January 2006. To help clear up some of the confusion, we would like to offer you and your readers an opportunity to speak with Sony directly about the Reader to dispel some of the myth that has surrounded its rollout. As a first step, we would like to suggest compiling questions from your readers about the device. I will then share them directly with a senior member of Sony’s product team for response. Hopefully, if all works well, we can work together to separate fact from fiction about the Reader.”

This is a smart move, good work Sony. So Makers – here are my questions – post yours!

  • What formats are supported? In other words, can you create a document from a text file, Word doc, PDF, etc and still take advantage of all the e-ink features?
  • Are all purchased books DRM’ed? Can I share a book with someone else? Other computers? etc…?
  • Are the books purchased via Sony Connect? Can they be purchased from a Mac? Linux? If only PC, is special software or specific browser needed? Non-PC, non-IE customers cannot access Sony connect now.
  • Please describe the publishing / creation tools that ship with the device.
  • Can authors and publishers put their content for sale in the Sony Connect store? Can we sell MAKE Magazine?
  • Can authors and publishers create free content for others to download and view without restrictions?
  • Can the reader view / sync RSS feeds?
  • Is the reader Linux based (Like the Japanese version).
  • Besides the language, how is the english version of the reader different than the Japanese version (Librie)
  • Why was the Librie discontinued in Japan?
  • Will there be time-expiring DRM/protected content on the new reader? We’re fans of e-Ink (have a Librie here) but worry about the restrictions that seem to have doomed the previous version(s) of ebook readers.
  • Is Sony aware of the hacking/modding community that still keeps the Librie alive and kicking? What does Sony think of it?
  • Can we review the device?