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Austrian Professor Creates Kindle E-Book Copier With Lego Mindstorms 61

An anonymous reader writes "Using a Lego Mindstorms set, a Mac, and optical character recognition, Austrian professor Peter Purgathofer created a makeshift ebook copier. From the article: 'It's sort of a combination of high tech meets low. The scanning is done by way of the Mac's iSight camera. The Mindstorms set does two things: Hits the page-advance button on the Kindle (it appears to be an older model, like the one in the picture above), then mashes the space bar on the Mac, causing it to take a picture.' Purgathofer calls the creation a 'reflection on the loss of long established rights.' Check out the Vimeo video for a demonstration."
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Austrian Professor Creates Kindle E-Book Copier With Lego Mindstorms

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  • Sigh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @11:44AM (#44783667)
    I had to read the summary a couple of times and was still left wondering why would one need that fancy machine to copy e-books -- why not just copy the files, I thought. Then the three letters "DRM" popped in my mind and I realized that he had to construct that all to just circumvent that stupid protection. Ah well, at least that was probably a fun project to work on.
  • by Announcer ( 816755 ) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @11:56AM (#44783717) Homepage

    OK, how long will it take until the DRM running on the "cloud" OCR provider recognizes what's going on, and puts a stop to this? The Mac should be capable of running a local OCR. What happens at home stays at home... what happens "in the cloud" is everyone's business.

    Overall, this would be a cool thing to set up... start it, go to work, then come home and have the whole book on your laptop. Just get rid of the "cloud middleman".

  • Re: Sigh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:45PM (#44784073)

    I think you missed the point of what the poster meant. The only reason you are allowed to lend ebooks is so amazon can trump the argument and establish dominance over physical book purchases. Once they have a large enough market share they can take the lending function away to increase sales. Nobody can ever stop you from lending a physical book. Its a matter of control of your own life.

  • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plover ( 150551 ) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:50PM (#44784113) Homepage Journal

    The point of an art project is to get other people to recognize the problem. Ordinary people don't know they're buying DRM. They just think they're "buying e-books", but they have no understanding what that means. Their only experience with DRM is when they think about sharing the book with someone else, and then they only dimly realize the problem when they can't find a menu option labeled "make a copy for my friend".

    This puts a clumsy bunch of Lego out there, making motor noises, and getting people thinking "why is he doing all that crap?"

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @03:02PM (#44784909) Homepage

    Amusing, of course, but irrelevant, because DRM isn't about piracy, and it certainly isn't about rewarding content creators, it's about preventing competition.

    As long as you can't read an Amazon Kindle on a Nook, DRM is doing its job. If Nooks and Barnes and Noble are getting driven out of business, DRM is doing its job well.

    An automated eBook scanner doesn't do anything to make the eBook business more competitive.

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