The next killer app, or who needs books?

The picture definition on Japanese camera-phones is now so high that people can stand in a shop, surreptitiously photograph the pages of a magazine and then later read their ill-gotten literature from the screens of their mobile phones.
Japan’s booksellers have risen as one to demand that the Government criminalises this practice…
…the thefts have become more ambitious. Students, for example, are finding that entire textbooks can be photographed and read later at palm-sized convenience.
The publishing industry is suffering badly from the advance of mobile phones in Japan. Where once the train carriages were full of people reading comics or newspapers, passengers now concentrate solely on the screens of their phones. Mobile phone operators say that text-message volumes correspond almost exactly with the commuter rush-hour peaks and troughs.
The latest phones come equipped with a tuner that can — fuzzily — pick up television broadcasts, and several operators have introduced phones with navigation software that shows the user as a moving red blip on an ultra-detailed street atlas of Japan.

That’s from The Times, June 5, 2004, p.2W, no link available. Here is some background information. Here is a related article. Here is a more general article on the illegal downloading of books.

To be continued…


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