Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Barnes & Noble Insists Nook Isn’t Dead, Releases Video Apps to Prove It

Barnes & Noble isn’t going to make color Nook tablets anymore.

But it insists that it isn’t giving up on the idea of a color Nook — it’s just going to let other, unnamed-as-of yet, people make the devices. And it will sell stuff you can consume on them.

You can raise your eyebrows about the practicality of that strategy. But here we have evidence that B&N is still going to try to make this work: New Nook Video apps for iOS, Android and Roku boxes.

What’s that? You’ve never heard of Nook Video? A quick refresher: B&N launched its video store last fall, when Nook tablets still seemed like a plausible competitor for the iPad, the Kindle Fire and assorted Android tablets. Up until now, you could only watch videos you bought from the store on Nook tablets, though.

Easy enough to describe all of this as a pointless exercise. But consider: If B&N has any hope of making the Nook ecosystem viable enough for a third party to manufacture the devices, then it needs to have a viable video offering. So here you go.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work