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Ask Slashdot: E-ink Reader For Academic Papers?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the reasonable-request dept.

Books 134

Albanach writes "Recently, I purchased an e-ink Kindle. I like real paper books, but I'm reading lots of academic papers. The Kindle is a nice way to carry and read them, and I went through several documents, highlighting important passages. Now I learn that there is no supported way to actually get a highlighted personal document back off of the Kindle with the highlights intact. I don't need lectures about DRM, proprietary software or anything else along those lines — there are other things the Kindle can and will be used for. What I would like to know is whether there's another e-ink reader that does let you add your own documents, then highlight them and export the altered document. Or does someone know of a way to achieve this using the Kindle itself?"

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DRM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254045)

I don't need lectures about DRM, proprietary software or anything else along those lines — there are other things the Kindle can and will be used for.

You don't get it. DRM is etiher there or not, you can't choose in the case of the Swindle.

Re:DRM (4, Informative)

Radak (126696) | about a year ago | (#46254101)

Last I checked, the Kindle is capable of reading and displaying quite a few non-DRM formats. You're stuck with DRM if you purchase books from Amazon, yes, but nothing about the device itself locks you into DRM.

Re:DRM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254185)

It doesn't matter if you use it or not. As long as there is DRM someone else fundamentally controls your computer. This someone might be nice to you and let you do certain things that you like, but that doesn't take away the fact that you are not in control of your computing.

Re:DRM (2, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#46254227)

Instead of mindlessly repeating Free Software adages that, while important in the right contexts, don't even apply to the present situation, you ought to learn how the Kindle works. The Kindle is jailbreakable and one can run any custom software they like on it. While there was a scandal some years back about Amazon deleting content from Kindles, you have nothing to fear if you simply keep your device in airplane mode all the time (if you don't plan on buying from Amazon, there's no real reason to use the device's wifi or 3G capabilities anyway).

Re:DRM (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254263)

you have nothing to fear if you simply keep your device in airplane mode all the time

Like saying you're less likely to get robbed if you never go outside the house.

Re:DRM (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about a year ago | (#46254941)

There are two things a Kindle does with its WiFi connection: Downloading content from Amazon and running a barely functional web browser. If you aren't going to use the Amazon store there's basically nothing worth using the WiFi for.

Re:DRM (1)

Ozoner (1406169) | about a year ago | (#46255231)

It occasionally downloads firmware updates also. And of course you can transfer your own files via the Amazon link.

Re:DRM (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#46255521)

Also synchronizing reading progress between different devices, and as Ozoner pointed out, getting firmware updates and transferring your own files. I buy my books from Baen (DRM free, not that I really care), and just tell Baen to e-mail them to my kindle directly. It's simpler than plugging it into a computer and copying them over.

Re:DRM (1)

zugmeister (1050414) | about a year ago | (#46256245)

I've noticed a huge increase in battery life by keeping my paperwhite in airplane mode. Use Calibre, [calibre-ebook.com] to copy over books via USB and you don't even need to worry about what directory to put them in.

Re:DRM (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#46254359)

Log in Mr. Stahlman. Log in.

Re:DRM (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#46254963)

You're stuck with DRM if you purchase books from Amazon, yes, but nothing about the device itself locks you into DRM.

Uh, no. Publishers choose whether they put DRM on Amazon ebooks, there's no requirement to use it. I've never intentionally bought a DRM-ed ebook on Amazon.

Re:DRM (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about a year ago | (#46254121)

Swindle! so clever and witty! right up there with M$ and Microsucks.

Re: DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254155)

To be fair, I'd say it's at least a point or two more clever than either of those.

RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254647)

Richard Stallman has been calling it the Swindle for years.

Oh man (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254047)

"I don't need lectures about DRM, proprietary software or anything else along those lines"

Are you sure you posted this to the right geek news site?

Uh, yes (5, Informative)

orledrat (3490981) | about a year ago | (#46254055)

They exist. Don't pick one that is too weak to display large PDFs or too small to comfortably navigate A4. I'd probably pick this 9.7" Icarus Excel if I had to choose one right now: http://www.amazon.com/ICARUS-R... [amazon.com]

Re:Uh, yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254179)

There is also the good old iRex DR1000S - 10.2 inches

Re:Uh, yes (1)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#46254311)

Thanks. I don't need to deal with PDFs (fortunately). Can this do the same with stuff like ePub?

Regarding large PDFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254713)

I suffered reading large pdfs for years with my first gen Asus Transformer TF101 and finally sought an alternative and found super pleasantly that Perfect Viewer's pdf plugin works flawlessly.

I gave up and used a tablet (3, Interesting)

jaymz2k4 (790806) | about a year ago | (#46254057)

I tried making use of a kindle for reading papers but in the end found the experience too clunky and cumbersome - especially with dual column PDFs. Instead I've ended up using a 7 inch tablet (nexus 7 in my case) and a good PDF reader (settled on ezPDF reader). My kindle wasn't touch enabled so that may have been part of it, but even then I found it easier and more reliable to load and annotate the PDF in a good reader on a tablet.

Re:I gave up and used a tablet (1)

JanneM (7445) | about a year ago | (#46254081)

I have a Nexus 7, but I found the screen just too small for double-column papers. I now use a Sony Tablet Z and it's nearly perfect. It's still light enough to easily hold in one hand, and I can easily read a single-column paper in portrait format, or a double-column paper either in portrait or landscape, depending on how tired my eyes are at the time.

I use "PDF Viewer", actually "EBook Droid" for PDFs, and it's OK for papers. I'll try ezPDF as well. I also use Sony's "small app" notes application to take notes which works fairly well.

The one thing I miss is Zotero integration. I don't really need Zotero on my tablet, but I would like to take notes and get the notes automagically imported to Zotero.

Re:I gave up and used a tablet (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#46255671)

The big advantage that the tablet has over an eInk device of the same size is that you can scroll quickly. I found having an eBook reader that could only display half of an A4 page quite annoying, but on a tablet it's far less of a problem because you can slide the page up as you read it.

Re:I gave up and used a tablet (1)

failedlogic (627314) | about a year ago | (#46254897)

I was looking at youtube videos of PDFs on various tablets. It looks like with book format the larger hi-res tablets (like iPad w/Retina) and some of the newer 9-10.1" Androids with similar hi-res display (2048 x 1152-ish) do a much better job of displaying the full page of text and are legible to read. I find the small screens make reading difficult and strenuous on the eyes.

I'm going to grad school soon and I'm debating buying a tablet or getting a new laptop with hi-res display. I just want to setup something where I don't have to sit down and read all day long. I'd think a laptop would make that easier or tablet with one of those stands. I'm not clumsy but I dread the idea of dropping a $500+ tablet while sitting down to read.

Re:I gave up and used a tablet (2)

zugmeister (1050414) | about a year ago | (#46256397)

I was in the same boat, and carry my iPad with me daily. First, get a good case and never take it out. My old iPad I (kids use / abuse daily) has one of these [amazon.com] which I used to use but found a bit bulky. Now I use this [amazon.com] . I've dropped it numerous times and come away unscathed. I think the trick is to make sure the corners are well protected, so DON'T use that pretty, slim one Apple makes!

Goodreader [goodreader.net] with its file sync and annotation capabilities goes a long way towards making up for the stock viewer you get with IOS.

Be aware an iPad in no way will substitute for a laptop. Any serious research / content generation is right out of the realm of possibility. Want to edit a text file on a network share? I can do it in six easy steps but only with third party software (iFile) on my jailbroken iPad. It's great for information retrieval and lightweight email but if you're looking at getting one device for school, go with the laptop.

Re:I gave up and used a tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46256207)

I did the same. Throughout my doctorate I converted all lectures and papers to PDF (Open Office does it in one step but sometimes mangles the formatting, MS Office prints as an image, so you need to use OCR which is hit or miss). Then I'd take notes using Tracker PDF X-Change Viewer on my laptop (it's free for non-commercial use, Linux is a bit trickier since the major PDF viewers lack OCR and annotation). When tablets came into prominence I found QuickOffice's annotation features to be quite excellent for this purpose. Now I keep my old first generation Kindle Fire in my lab coat and have access to both my old lecture notes and any articles I need (plus some medical databases, calculators, and Kindle textbooks), and I use Google Drive to keep everything in sync. Battery life is fine, especially with wifi off, but YMMV. If I read articles throughout the day, and didn't need the portability, I'd want a larger and higher resolution screen. I don't think eInk readers are capable of this sort of workflow, so I haven't used them.

Re:I gave up and used a tablet (1)

majid_aldo (812530) | about a year ago | (#46256451)

i have a 10 inch tablet and i would buy a bigger one if i could.

You have owners. They own you. They own everything (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254061)

Memorable quotes for
Looker (1981)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00... [imdb.com]

"John Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages *submit* to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a *box* with pictures? Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. But 15 years sitting in front of a television set is entertainment. And the average American now spends more than one and a half years of his life just watching television commercials. Fifty minutes, every day of his life, watching commercials. Now, that's power."


"The United States has it's own propaganda, but it's very effective because people don't realize that it's propaganda. And it's subtle, but it's actually a much stronger propaganda machine than the Nazis had but it's funded in a different way. With the Nazis it was funded by the government, but in the United States, it's funded by corporations and corporations they only want things to happen that will make people want to buy stuff. So whatever that is, then that is considered okay and good, but that doesn't necessarily mean it really serves people's thinking - it can stupify and make not very good things happen."
- Crispin Glover: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm000... [imdb.com]


"It's only logical to assume that conspiracies are everywhere, because that's what people do. They conspire. If you can't get the message, get the man." - Mel Gibson (from an interview)


"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." - William Casey, CIA Director


"The real reason for the official secrecy, in most instances, is not to keep the opposition (the CIA's euphemistic term for the enemy) from knowing what is going on; the enemy usually does know. The basic reason for governmental secrecy is to keep you, the American public, from knowing - for you, too, are considered the opposition, or enemy - so that you cannot interfere. When the public does not know what the government or the CIA is doing, it cannot voice its approval or disapproval of their actions. In fact, they can even lie to your about what they are doing or have done, and you will not know it. As for the second advantage, despite frequent suggestion that the CIA is a rogue elephant, the truth is that the agency functions at the direction of and in response to the office of the president. All of its major clandestine operations are carried out with the direct approval of or on direct orders from the White House. The CIA is a secret tool of the president - every president. And every president since Truman has lied to the American people in order to protect the agency. When lies have failed, it has been the duty of the CIA to take the blame for the president, thus protecting him. This is known in the business as "plausible denial." The CIA, functioning as a secret instrument of the U.S. government and the presidency, has long misused and abused history and continues to do so."
- Victor Marchetti, Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History


George Carlin:

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

You know what they want? Obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club.

This country is finished."

Re:You have owners. They own you. They own everyth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254625)

What's your point, asshole? 1) You're preaching to the choir, and 2) w/o a plan of action that you are willing to lead, this is just a rant thrown up here that either makes you feel better or is just a troll.

Calibre? (3, Interesting)

karimicus (3538639) | about a year ago | (#46254085)

If I remember right there's a function within calibre which detects the meta data from kindle/pdf formats and allows it to read the highlighted meta data

Papers-ereader (1)

karimicus (3538639) | about a year ago | (#46254105)

i think if I had the chance would get a kindle dx for the larger format as an e-reader. I have the 7" kindle for but techy books and whitepapers it is annoying to read from

Re:Papers-ereader (1)

tilk (637557) | about a year ago | (#46254147)

I'm using a Kindle DX for several years now, and I have read a lot of technical books and scientific papers using it. It has some software limitations (no highlighting, poor bookmarking) but other than that it works fine and I'm very happy with it.

ATEB !! ATEB !!! FUCK IT (-1, Flamebait)

Infestedkudzu (2557914) | about a year ago | (#46254133)


Short Evaluation (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about a year ago | (#46254137)

I had a Kobo-Reader and my girlfriend has a Kindle. We both evaluated using these readers to read scientific papers. These papers come in PDF and are sometimes in a two-column style. Reading PDFs is a mess on both readers. This also applies to the Tolino, which my niece bought recently. The problem with papers is, that they are more or less A4-documents and not A5. Therefore, they are hard to read on the small screen anyway. What works somewhat better are scientific books, which are available as e-book. I have some books on compiler construction and I can easily read them on my fairphone (android), on my netbook (linux, kindle+wine) and on my computer at work. Notes are transferred between all three machines. As long as you are inside Kindle.

Papers I read in print or on my girlfriends galaxy note 10.1, which in conjunction with Acrobat-Reader allows to mark things and store the markings in the document. I also use it to add my comments to students, so they can get my comment by mail and do not have to come to my office ;-)

Re:Short Evaluation (2)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#46254305)

Hi, I am the submitter - most of the papers I am working with a plain text and either directly available in a compatible format or very easily converted to one. I should really have made clear that I am not stuck with PDFs which makes the small size of the regular kindle more of a plus than a disadvantage.

Re: Short Evaluation (3, Informative)

ArgumentBoy (669152) | about a year ago | (#46254437)

I use iAnnotate on an iPad. I download the PDF or Word document from my Dropbox, highlight and so forth on the iPad, and then can sync the marked up copy back to Dropbox. It's not the Kindle solution you wanted but otherwise it seems to be just what you want.

Re: Short Evaluation (1)

tgibbs (83782) | about a year ago | (#46254961)

I also routinely read academic papers using iAnnotate. If you read a lot of academic papers, it's worth investing in an iPad.

Re: Short Evaluation (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#46255181)

I completely aggree with that, but they did not release an android version that that can output pdf. Yes it is ridiculous, you can read and annotate, but you can not save what you do.
Any Android suggestions?

Re: Short Evaluation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46256695)

l Annotate(Android) Does save annotated files in a different folder. These Can then be opened On a computer.

Re:Short Evaluation (5, Interesting)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about a year ago | (#46255039)

I wrote a small script that takes research papers and splits them up if they have two columns. It tries to figure out when you have figures, and to strip away the header/footer etc. It produces epubs (which you can convert with Calibre)

      https://github.com/JohannesBuc... [github.com]

The pages are first converted to images, the white spaces figured out, and the page sliced and diced. The linearized content is a sequence of page number, and rectangle definitions. You could make those into a pdf again, but I just stick to images and html (epub).

Re:Short Evaluation (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about a year ago | (#46255175)

Thanks for the hint. I will look into it. Such tool, if it works properly, could ease my daily work. No more searching in folders (paper) for notes, no more piles of documents on my desk.

Re:Short Evaluation (1)

israeliboy (1039714) | about a year ago | (#46255425)

That sounds useful ... I hope you don't mind, but I reposted this as an answer to a relevant question on the new EBooks StackExchange site. Might come in handy there. http://ebooks.stackexchange.co... [stackexchange.com]

Don't worry, be happy (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#46254157)

Don't ever let something like DRM get in the way of you getting your work done.

Screw it. Use Calibre and root your Kindle. Strip out the DRM and get a proper reader app.

There is no moral requirement for you to participate in corporate insanity.

In the words of a great tech guru: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

And while we're at it, "All you have to do is be yourself, do your will, and rejoice."

Re:Don't worry, be happy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254205)

I think I prefer 'Do what thou will an it harm none'

Crowley was an arse.

Re:Don't worry, be happy (2)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#46254377)

DRM is not what is stopping me getting my work don.e I can put my own stuff on, and get it back off again just fine. The problem is a lack of tools to take the annotation data that's on the device and merge it into the document when it's not on the Kindle.

Re:Don't worry, be happy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46255369)

What part of "root your Kindle and get a proper reader app." don't you understand?

(BTW, in this context, "root" doesn't mean "intercourse", in case that's the cause of your confusion)

Re:Don't worry, be happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46255585)

What part of "E-Ink Kindle" do you not fucking understand? It's not a Kindle Fire. It doesn't run Android. The only alternate readers [mobileread.com] are for epub and pdf.

Re:Don't worry, be happy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254409)

Calibre doesn't "root" your Kindle, moron.

Re:Don't worry, be happy (1)

dhasenan (758719) | about a year ago | (#46254465)

The person was clearly listing out multiple steps to take. Use Calibre (to manage your ebooks, maybe with plugins to strip DRM). Root your Kindle (to prevent it from communicating with Amazon in ways you don't control).

Re:Don't worry, be happy (1)

egranlund (1827406) | about a year ago | (#46254733)

The person was clearly listing out multiple steps to take. Use Calibre (to manage your ebooks, maybe with plugins to strip DRM). Root your Kindle (to prevent it from communicating with Amazon in ways you don't control).

The person listed steps, yes. But failed to communicate what doing that would actually solve as his problem wasn't DRM or the device communicating with Amazon...

iRex DR1000S - 10.2-inch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254171)

I have been using one for several years already and it is great. My daily companion to academic papers. Btw, the OS is linux 2.6, so...

  The downside: battery life sucks. If it is on, it lasts one day at most.

I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (3, Interesting)

brxndxn (461473) | about a year ago | (#46254177)

I have a little rant because I hate these little fucking problems like the OP is talking about. That is bullshit. What the fuck is the point of the highlighting feature if you cannot take it off and use it somewhere else? Seriously.. it would be like 4 hours of a Kindle programmers' time to implement that feature. I hate that shit.

Also, fuck the cloud. Every company wants to create their little own proprietary cloud that envisions you being locked into their half-assed limited selection of crap. Microsoft Skydrive.. now I'm stuck with only using Microsoft. Everyone else is the same. Where the fuck is my cloud that works on any device and lets me store any document there. Maybe dropbox is the best so far.. but something tells me I cannot store my Kindle books, Nook books, Itunes, or any other media on that cloud. It's my fucking media.. Let me store it wherever the fuck I want on whatever the fuck device I want to store it on. Maybe the new Kindle sucks and some other company makes a better implementation. Let me move my shit there.

Also, why the fuck can't all my devices just report back to a shared drive on my computer. Why can't I just have a 'pdb' (personal database) file that is constantly updating with any device I own. Let it encrypt the parts that need encryption. Let the interface pop up with a list of checkmarks and I (the GODDAMN USER THAT IS BUYING THIS CRAP) decide what I want my device to be able to access, copy, and modify out of my personal database. Seriously.. the idea that it's not just built-in to store files to a share drive on every new tablet and cell phone is as frustrating as watching someone try to be productive on Windows 8.

This ones for Android.. let me tell the fucking device when to update! I don't want it updating my apps when I picked it up to quickly read a pdf. I don't need it trying to use my internet connection when I'm at some fucking remote site 3rd world country with barely any cell phone coverage deciding it needs to update some bloated app I never use.

This one is for Windows.. updating when I want to turn off my laptop and telling me not to turn it off is retarded. Whoever decided that is the time to update should be slammed on the pavement like how Hulk smashed Loki.

I have a lot more to rant about.. but I am going to take a vacation away from technology for the next few hours.

I cannot believe people think we're innovating at this time.. We're taking 3 steps forward and 12 steps back. Fuck you, Kindle, for reminding me of this non-interchangeable mess that we call the technology world. Shit should work together. If we had a PDB that was universal (and with compatibility layers for all the proprietary shit - APPLE), then maybe the consumer wouldn't think it was such a pain in the ass to move to a new device.

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (1)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about a year ago | (#46254203)

So did Amazon take your lunch money too, or just your milk money?

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254479)

What are you on about? You can use skydrive/dropbox/etc with any web browser and there are usually native clients for devices.

If you think you can implement a universal PDB (whatever that is) then go ahead. Obviously you arent a developer.

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (2)

JanneM (7445) | about a year ago | (#46254515)

Use Owncloud. Does pretty much what you seem to want.

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#46255341)

Well, many applications seems to have an "export to dropbox" features, but not all have an "export to owncloud" feature. This imporves on Android where there are proper interface for exporting documents. But you still need the application to use it properly. If I understood correctly, there is no such interface on iDevices which forces each softwaredevelopper to explicitely write a support (probably smply linking with an external lib andadding a hook) for different cloud platforms. This is essentially the same thing with other system, you might have an application on your computer or a web applicatin. If it does not support owncloud export explicitely, you are on your own.

Note: I do not own an iDevice, that is what I gathered from other people using it.

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254567)

I cannot agree more. Everyone needs to get this angry at the problems he outlines.

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (3, Funny)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#46254793)

This is an impressive rant but it you spent as much time researching the problem as you took to write the rant, you could solve your problems.
On the cloud: Dropbox, etc. have clients for all OSs. You can even use Owncloud to have complete control.
Updating: You could spend a few minutes to set up your options to update when and where you want (Google it... all of the OSs have these options).
PDFs: Again, spend a few minutes to find a PDF reader that has the options you want.

(I did enjoy your rant, though. Good to see someone get this worked up on a Saturday morning. Maybe you should try getting outside more.)

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (1)

failedlogic (627314) | about a year ago | (#46254845)

brxndxn's got 99 problems and research is #1!

Owncloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254895)

Google it.

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254919)

You seriously need to learn how to operate a computer. Are you sure this is the best website for you? Most topics are probably way over your head. These "problems" you list are all pretty basic things that anyone past the beginner phase of computer ownership has learned. I mean updates? If you can't figure out how to turn off automatic updating on both Windows and Android...well, yeah it's probably good you're "taking a break from technology". Also, suggesting one monolithic file with every bit of unique data is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#46255221)

Instead of ranting against them (not that I disagree) you could also just not use any cloud services. Their TOS and EULAs are usually unacceptable anyway. I store everything on my PC and backup the contents of this machine in encrypted form to georedundant servers. The rest is just a matter of using remote desktop login, ssh, and similar services.

If you don't want to set up the services on your own, there is a little Danish company that produces sort of two matching, paired USB sticks that allow you to move files between any two endpoints, including very sophisticated NAT traversal. It's nothing you couldn't on your own in software but seems quite handy to me. Can't remember their name though.

lol, are you some kind of parody of a libertarian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46255265)

What a whiner. You really fail at "personal responsibility", and understanding how programming and software work. Your comment history is hilarious too. You should stick to hyping bitcoin.

Re:I'm so pissed at electronic devices!!! (1)

virtualXTC (609488) | about a year ago | (#46256751)

The slashdot boycott [slashdot.org] must be working because slashdot is clearly falling apart; +5 Interesting?!!??!?! WTF???, I just wish someone would point me to wherever the slashdot fork is being set up so I don't accidently read another post like this. Anyway:

If you would just google your problem, in a fraction of the time you spent ranting you would already know all of the sharing features you want are available via google drive, and android auto-updates can be turned as a whole or on an app by app basis by going to Play --> right menu -->settings --> Auto Update Apps --> Do Not auto update apps or Play --> left menu --> my apps --> right menu -->unselect auto update app respectively.

PocketBook e-ink readers (3, Informative)

stasike (1063564) | about a year ago | (#46254189)

Have a look at the PocketBook e-ink readers. Sadly, they have left USA market, unable to compete with Amazon.
Here in my European country, in an online store specialized on e-book readers PocketBook is by far the most popular brand. Keep in mind that most people buying kindles are buying them directly from Amazon.
I have PocketBook Touch Lux 623. The screen and front-light are the same as on Kindle Paperwhite. It supports 18 e-book formats and lots of configuration options, all without hacking. It has headphones output with support of TTS in many languages. You can use micro SD card. There are third-party programs available, such as scientific calculator, Linux terminal (for hacking - the reader itself has busybox installed), ftp server (so you can look at *and* modify files from internal memory), Coolreader, chess, several games, Vim text editor (full-fledged recent version).
You can make your own notes and highlights and PocketBook will prepare html file for each document with your notes that you can download to your PC. No special software necessary.
You can import PocketBook from Europe.

The answer is obvious (3, Informative)

supercrisp (936036) | about a year ago | (#46254195)

The obvious part: Root it and install a more capable e-reader app. My recommendation: I prefer Moon+ Reader Pro, which will not only give you a highlighted and annotated file you can use elsewhere, it can also, with one click, generate a document with annotations and highlights only that you can e-mail to yourself. I should not that this is something even Acrobat Pro can't do, and also note that Moon+ is more feature complete and easy to use than is Adobe's offering for Android. NB: I don't have any stake in Moon+, nor give a crap what money they make. I'm sharing because I spent too much time wading thru all the e-reader apps to find this one.

Re:The answer is obvious (1)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#46254289)

I did a quick Google. It looks like Moon+ is an Android App. I was specifically looking for a solution compatible with an e-ink reader. Simply due to the long time spent reading straight text, the screen is superior for what I am doing.

Re:The answer is obvious (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | about a year ago | (#46254373)

I believe that the Kobo is an Android device, and can easily be rooted. So that may work.

Re:The answer is obvious (-1, Troll)

supercrisp (936036) | about a year ago | (#46254421)

Do a slower and more thorough Google search. You might find out why I advised "root it and install a more capable e-reader app," you might want to Google that too. Forgive my impatience if you have a model of Kindle that isn't based on Android.

Re:The answer is obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46255105)

Perhaps your reading should be slower and more thorough, with less condescension. You might find out he clearly stated he purchased an e-ink Kindle. The e-ink Kindles are not Android based. You advice is useless and any "impatience" should be directed at you for wasting his time.

Re:The answer is obvious (3, Informative)

davolfman (1245316) | about a year ago | (#46254911)

Nook Simple Touch's and Glowlights are technically Android and once rooted can run Moon+ last I checked. Rooted Nooks alse run the Kindle app if you pick the right version. Best of all worlds.

Mobius (3, Interesting)

jadrian (1150317) | about a year ago | (#46254201)

The only one I know of is Sony's Mobius [gizmag.com] , which was conceived specifically with academia in mind.

Try some Chinese stuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254207)

When I lived in China I remember seeing a lot of "national" alternatives to kindle. They did cost more but they had many advantages: colors (at the time the only e-ink readers with colors were Chinese, don't know now), different sizes, the larger ones being much better for reading PDFs than kindle, and better compatibility options. I deeply regret going cheap (I bought a kindle because of the price).
Here is a link for one of them (I remembered the brand and made a search). They say you can embed notes to pdf and etc: Hanvon WISereader [hanvon.com]
There are other ones, but this is a starting point. Sorry for not remembering other brands.
Good luck.

I don't need lectures about DRM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254239)

Well, maybe you do need a lecture about DRM. You bought into the DRM system, and then are surprised when it is broken by design? DRM devices like the Kindle are for consumption of proprietary content, not for creating derivative works. Which is what you're doing. The content owners demand the Kindle, iPad, etc provide a locked-down environment, or they'll never license their content. There is no freedom by design. Lecture about DRM: THE ONLY WAY TO WIN IS NOT TO PLAY.

Re:I don't need lectures about DRM (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#46254265)


It's easy to read highlights and notes off-kindle (3, Interesting)

gwolf (26339) | about a year ago | (#46254251)

There is a file called documents/My Clippings.txt if I'm not mistaken. Some time ago, I wrote a simple program (kindleclip — https://github.com/gwolf/kindl... [github.com] ) that presents you highlights, bookmarks and comments, allows you to search, either by book or by date. It's a GTK2 project built with Glade however, and I have not yet ported it to use current alternatives, but at least I believe the source to be quite readable/followable. Hope you find it useful.

Re:It's easy to read highlights and notes off-kind (1)

egranlund (1827406) | about a year ago | (#46254743)

There is a file called documents/My Clippings.txt if I'm not mistaken. Some time ago, I wrote a simple program (kindleclip — https://github.com/gwolf/kindl... [github.com] ) that presents you highlights, bookmarks and comments, allows you to search, either by book or by date. It's a GTK2 project built with Glade however, and I have not yet ported it to use current alternatives, but at least I believe the source to be quite readable/followable. Hope you find it useful.

^ This. While that may be a little cumbersome to sync it all, I think that's the best you'll probably get with the Kindle.

I think you need a different software solution (4, Informative)

astralagos (740055) | about a year ago | (#46254303)

I think what you're really looking for is a research paper management application, such as Mendeley, Zotero or Papers. I personally use Papers, but that's a very mac-specific solution. There is apparently a Mendeley-specific application called KinSync that should help with using it on the Kindle. In general, if you're reading a bunch of academic papers and you don't have a manager like this, I recommend getting one.

Good question (2)

Ammonia (3538677) | about a year ago | (#46254395)

Been asking myself the same question the last couple of months, as the quantity of books required these days has become too much to carry. I first considered the Kindle DX, but I'm not familiar with the OS "ecosystem" of Amazon and the restrictions within (transfer of files/DRM). After some more searching I ended up deciding on the Boyue G10 (random chinese device), as linked here: http://www.aliexpress.com/item... [aliexpress.com] Very satisfied with it.

Get A Thinkpad Tablet 2 and Use Xournal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254429)

I help maintain Xournal (a PDF annotation software) and like you, do a lot of reading and reviewing of papers.

My suggestion is to use Xournal on a tablet. The best, in my opinion, is the Thinkpad Tablet 2 with a wacom digitizer. It is very nice and a great deal these days. It can't do much, but it runs xournal beautifully. But for me, it is purely a PDF annotator:

There are several advantages to it:

1. It has a wacom digitizer. I can't stress it enough. There is no comparison to any other digitizer in the market. You get true pressure sensitivity and subpixel sampling.

2. Xournal is very good at capturing and rendering handwritten annotations. It has a very high sampling, making the annotations very accurate.

3. you can use dropbox to load the files in the Thinkpad. As you save them, they get saved to dropbox and loaded in other computers.

4. You can open several documents at once

The Thinkpad Tablet 2 is underpowered as a real windows tablet, but it is really good for just this purpose. If you want to discuss more about it, you can find me at github as dmgerman.


Re: (1)

Jmstuckman (561420) | about a year ago | (#46254783)

Aha -- you beat me to the punch. Yes, this is one thing (the only thing?) that Windows 8 tablets really excel at, as Windows has long-standing (since XP) and mature support for pen digitizers.

ipad does (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254505)

there are apps that are free that do this.

Tradeoffs (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#46254541)

You want a device w/ an active stylus and decent software support for that --- unfortunately, these haven't faired well in the market.

The Icarus Excel is one which seems to still be available --- 9.7" E-Ink Pearl screen, for a paperlike reading experience
Supports handwritten notes and annotations with Wacom technology: http://blog.the-ebook-reader.c... [the-ebook-reader.com]

I just always use a Tablet PC as my main machine --- I do have a Sony PRS-600, but it's not easy to get the annotations off of it.

Better Kindle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46254587)

Try this - http://www.bookeen.com/en/cybook/odyssey - French made and so much better than Kindle.

Microsoft OneNote (2)

ehack (115197) | about a year ago | (#46254629)

I cannot read a maths book or paper without writing on it.

Microsoft OneNote is cloud-based with syncing, has drawing tools, OCR for image content, handwritten comments, and even a Maths editor, and can organize your stuff. There might even be a symbolic calculator buried somewhere in it. I use it on a Surface Pro; to make the handwritten annotation part work well you really need the Wacom Stylus.

There are a bunch of PDF readers on the PC and Mac which can annotate. I think they all export the annotated PDF, and a couple of smart folders or Google Drive might be enough to maintain a synced system.

Unfortunately, this whole area is one where proprietary is ahead of open source - OneNote and InkSeine are masterworks.


The problem is not the kindle (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | about a year ago | (#46254689)

The problem is not the Kindle. Publishers (particularly scholarly publishers ) have not adopted epub format. PDFs do not reflow to screen size therefore they will NEVER be useful in devices of variable screen sizing. Sorry. There is no reason you should not be able to get you publications in a format that would be more convenient to read on any eReader. Check put http://elife.elifesciences.org... [elifesciences.org] and down load the epub version of the article. I wish plosone.org had the good sense to provide an epub versions but they are too far behind the times.

Re:The problem is not the kindle (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#46254905)

"The problem is not the Kindle. Publishers (particularly scholarly publishers ) have not adopted epub format. PDFs do not reflow to screen size therefore they will NEVER be useful in devices of variable screen sizing. Sorry. "

That's where Calibre comes in.

Tablet with Wacom stylus (1)

Jmstuckman (561420) | about a year ago | (#46254761)

If you limit yourself to e-ink readers, I predict that you will suffer from endless problems with finding software that does what you want. You may have to bite the bullet and get a general-purpose tablet PC.

Go for a lightweight tablet with a Wacom stylus (digitizer), as this kind of stylus will give you a far better user experience for highlighting and handwriting than an ordinary capacitive stylus would. The Surface Pro has a Wacom stylus, but is too heavy for comfortable one-handed use. I would recommend looking into the Samsung Galaxy Note Tablet (running Android), or the Samsung Ativ or Thinkpad tablets (running Windows 8).

In the Windows world, Qiqqa is a cloud-synced reference and citation manager that will sync annotations, although you can't export the altered document like you wanted. It's likely that both Windows 8 and Android have numerous PDF annotation applications which will suit your needs. You may have better luck in the Windows than the Android world, because you will want your application to have native Wacom digitizer support (distinguishing between finger and pen presses, allowing you to scroll with your finger and highlight with your pen). There may be a PDF annotation application in Android that does this, but Wacom digitizers have historically been far more common in Windows than Android, and the good Wacom support in Windows applications reflects this.

No way? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#46254875)

I thought that as long as you put your document on your Kindle using Amazon's servers - basically meaning you send the document to your Kindle's email address rather than transferring it over USB - things like highlights and bookmarks would be synced to Amazon's servers (which would make them transferable)?

iPad with GoodReader (1)

jonnyj (1011131) | about a year ago | (#46255063)

In the business world, I and many others use an iPad and GoodReader for annotating board papers. To be honest, it's the only thing that I use an iPad for, as I prefer a proper PC, a smartphone or a smaller tablet for anything else.

GoodReader allows you to annotate pdfs with a wide range of tools - I usually scribble free form text with my finger - and you can read the annotations with any pdf reader. The large format of the full size iPad simplifies finger writing, and the large retina screen means that I can read dense data tables without needing to zoom in.

Despite Apple's dumbed-down iOS, GoodReader allows you to organise documents in a hierarchical folder structure, and you can synchronise your documents with a wide range of server types and cloud storage systems.

It's not the cheapest solution around, but it's by far the best that I've ever encountered amongst my business associates.

Nook (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#46255395)

I purchased a Nook for this. It reads EPUB, PDF, and of course B&N DRMed stuff. I can transfer my documents directly to the Nook using Calibre and haven't had much to complain about. When I purchased my Nook, the Kindle didn't allow directly installing documents and instead required my uploading to Amazon for it to show up on the device. I'm sure that has changed, but I'm still happy with the Nook.

Onyx M92 (1)

iampiti (1059688) | about a year ago | (#46255405)

This is a 9.7 (1200x825 px) inch e-ink reader. Supports most PDFs perfectly. It allows you to hightlight text and to scribble on them. You can then save the annotated version to a standard PDF that can be opened with the annotations and all on a PC with Adobe Reader or similar.
The hardware is somewhat old at this point and there's supossedly going to be a refresh in the near future (m96) with Android. They're supossedly even sponsoring a contest to develop e-ink optimized Android applications.
Warning: This is a exclusively reading device: It does have wifi and a browser but it's rubbish and many websites do not work well. They're also a bit fragile (specially the screen) so they must be treated carefully.
More info: http://www.mobileread.com/foru... [mobileread.com] .
Official website (the chinese version has much more info than the English one): http://www.onyx-international.... [onyx-inter...nal.com.cn]

Kindle DX (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#46255407)

Only one that works best for it, sadly it's discontinued as it seems that most people are weak waifs that cant carry a 9 inch E reader because they are soooooo heavy.

I wish they would release a Kindle XL-DX that has a display the size of a US Legal piece of paper. but I doubt we will see any useable e-ink readers released as the bulk of sales are for paperback recreational reading and not for professional or education use.

You can get all the highlighted passages... (1)

scienceprogrammer (654311) | about a year ago | (#46255791)

While it wont change the original document, If you go to kindle.amazon.com you can view your highlights and notes. Then just copy and paste to create a new document with only the important parts. I read a lot of books about programming and after a little clean up it works great for code examples.

Onyx M92: Video shows scribbling in PDFs and save (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46255867)

Here is a video I found demonstrating what you need:
"Onyx Boox M92. Scribbling in PDFs. Merging of scribbled annotations in a new PDF.
New annotated PDF can be easily opened on every other PDF Reading program on your PC"
The guy who posted the video is well known on the forums dedicated to mobile readers. He knows a lot about them and offering help to other people.
He have a site where he is selling this model:
The most important thing is thatthe support is very good. There are a lot of software updgrades. The latest for this model is from December 4, 2013.
There is a very useful feature presented
"Onyx Boox M92. Manual setting of margins of scanned PDF Documents. As you can see here it is very easy to setup margins of your PDF documents on that device. You can adjust either universal margins for entire document or, If you want, you can set margins for odd and even pages separately like on presented video. It is especially very usefull if you read some older scanned books or documents."

OK, I appologise for the fact that the post contains a lot of copy and paste from the youtube .
I do not have too much time to write this so please forgeive me for the way this post looks.
  I just hope that the information is useful.

Good ol' fashioned paper... (1)

matbury (3458347) | about a year ago | (#46255989)

I also read a lot of research papers. I sometimes discuss them in academic groups and need to highlight parts for quick and easy reference.

I've tried a variety of eReaders (glowy ones with touch screens) and tried converting PDFs to eBooks and HTML, I've used a smartphone, I've taken my laptop with me. I've looked at what others are doing to see if they've got any good ideas.

I hate printers and agree with The Oatmeal that they were sent from hell: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/p... [theoatmeal.com]

What do I do now? I get my local print-shop to print them out for me. They can even turn them into neat little books with enough space around to write notes. It's not very tree friendly so I do it judiciously but good ol' fashioned paper is unbeatable in my opinion.

It's a library, dummy (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about a year ago | (#46255995)

You're only borrowing the work, it's not appropriate for you to highlight it any more than it would be a library book.

Wrong mentality (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#46256297)

The Kindle is holding your copy of the book. You are annotating your copy of the book and highlighting it.

Were it a hardcopy book, your highlights would not automagically transfer to another copy of the book.

Why, then, do you expect to be able to export/read your annotations and highlights from a Kindle?

In order to do what you want, you'd effectivly have to be able to edit the book to embed your notes. If that's really what you want to do, get a document file and edit away, but don't expect an eReader to let you edit the books.

export PDF highlights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46256313)


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