Bookeen CyBook vs Sony Reader

I've been a fan of EBook readers for a long time now. Before EPaper based readers, I had an LCD-based one, and before that I had a Palm that I used almost exclusively to read EBooks.

EPaper, though, is a big step forward in terms of EBook readability, and when the Bookeen CyBook first came out, I immediately got one.

Unfortunately, a couple of months ago, I pulled it out ofm y bag to use it, only to discover that I evidently hadn't treated it as carefully as it warranted, because the delicate EPaper screen had become damaged, to the point where it was no longer really usable.

For a while, that was it, no EBook reader, but when we travelled through the US recently, a store at one of the airports was selling the Sony Reader, and even had a discount on the PRS-505. The 505 has since been superseded by the touchscreen PRS-700, but I don't have much use for a touchscreen on an EBook reader, and aparrently the 700 has screen glare issues due to the touchscreen coating. I got the 505.
I didn't expect to be particularly impressed by it - I merely ...

Read this: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Last night, having finally found my Cybook again, I downloaded Cory Doctorow's latest novel, Little Brother. Like all his other works, it's available for free download under a creative commons license, and like all his other books, it's excellent.

Unlike his other books, Little Brother is scary. Not scary in a "something's creeping up behind you" sort of way, but scary in a "completely plausible, yet utterly terrifying" way. The book is set in the (very) near future, and is focused around some of the most surveiled people in society - no, not prison inmates, high-school children. Imagine George Orwell's 1984, only a lot more immediate. Though disturbing enough to begin with, describing as it does worrying yet (alas) completely plausible intrusions in the name of 'security', everything takes a turn for the worse when a terrorist attack sends security paranoia into overdrive.

This is not a light hearted, "fun" novel. Though I don't live in the US, what happens there in the name of the "war on terror" affects me and everyone else. Starting as it did from a plausible and worryingly immediate beginning, the plot developments followed the same pattern, making it hard ...