ComputerWorld has published a list of ten broken technology ideas and offers some advice on how they can be fixed:
7. Electronic books
A promising technology, or a snake-oil sales pitch? E-books like the Amazon Kindle and Sony eReader could eventually reduce our reliance on paper books. I must admit the crisp 120DPI screens look remarkably like printed material.
In some ways, the Web is a gigantic e-book with an endless amount of information -- even if some of it is unreliable (see Wikipedia.org). Yet, nothing beats a printed book: you can find your place instantly with a dog-ear, it's practically disposable, you can loan it to anyone, and it causes very little eye strain.
Yes, you can load one of 90,000 books on the Kindle and check your e-mail in between chapters of the latest Stephen King novel. But before an e-book reader becomes a major hit with consumers, it must cost about the same as a real book. I'd like a throwaway e-book that's a plastic sheet with electronic ink (like the newspapers in Minority Report) and costs about $30.