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2009年考研英语时文阅读及翻译之电子书

黄涛   2008-11-25 10:56 【 】【我要纠错
电子书
英语的消亡
   

  导读:第一代电子书并没有取得预期的成功,然而随着技术的进步,新一代电子书产品逐渐浮出水面。继苹果公司取得巨大成功,令便携电子产品风行一时后,索尼公司利用数字墨水技术推出新款图书阅览器,将目光瞄准电子书市场。其它电子阅读器生产商也不甘落后,纷纷推出带有各自特色的产品。本文向读者介绍了电子阅读器产品的最新动态,以及出版商、作家和消费者对这种新生事物的态度。可以想象,电子书时代已经离我们不远了。(选自 Business Week, 2006)

  Richard D. Warren, a 58-year-old lawyer in California, is halfway through Ken Follett's novel Jackdaws. But he doesn't bother carrying around the book itself. Instead, he has a digital version of Follett he reads on his Palm Treo each morning as he communtes by train to San Francisco from his home in Berkeley. He's a big fan of such digital books. Usually, there are around seven titles on his Treo, and he buys at least two new ones each month. It is just so versatile, he says. I've tried to convert some friends to this, but they think it's kind of geeky.

  Geeky? For now, maybe, but not for much longer. Many experts are convinced that digital books, after plenty of false starts, are finally ready for takeoff. Every other forms of media has gone digital——music, newspapers, movies, says Joni Evans, a top literary agent who just left the Willian Morris Agency to start her won company that will focus on books and technology. We're the only industry that hasn''t lived up to the pace of technology. A revolution is around the corner.

  What developments have won over people like Evans? Portable devices are becoming lighter and more appealing. Books are being scanned into digital form by the thousands. The most important step forward may be in digital ink, the technology used for displaying letters on a screen. A small company called E Ink has created a method for arranging tiny black and white capsules into words and images with an electronic charge. Because no power is used unless the reader changes the page, devices with the technology could go as long as 20 books between battery charges. The text also looks just as sharp as ink on a printed page, since each capsule is the size and pigment of a grain of laser-jet toner.

  Sony is the first major player to take advantage of the technology. This spring, it will debut the Sony Reader, which uses E Ink and closely mimics the size, weight, and feel of a book. The Reader will sell for about $ 400. Sony also will offer roughly 10,000 book titles for download from its online store, along with news stories and blog items.

  Other pklayers sniff opportunity, too. At least two more companies are introducing digital readers this year. And scorces of companies, from Google to Random House Inc., are angling for other ways to profit from digital books. Chalk it up to the influence of Apple Computer Inc…… With its Ipod, Apple has demonstrated that millions of people are willing to carry around digital devices with their favorite content. After music, why not novels and nonfiction? The iPod led the way in getting people comfortable with [a similar device for books], says Jack Romanos, CEO of Simon & Schuster Inc…… These things are not only inevitable, but a good idea.

  加利福尼亚州58岁的律师Richard D. Warren 已经把Ken Follett的小说《寒鸦》读了一半,但他不必将书天天带到身边。事实上,每天早晨在他乘火车从伯克利的家里赶往旧金山上班的途中,他可以用自己的Palm Treo阅读该小说的电子版。沃伦对电子书非常痴迷。他的Treo里通常存有大约7本书,每个月他至少会买两本新书。他说:“它的用途很多,我曾劝说一些朋友改看电子书,但他们觉得有点前卫。”

  前卫?也许吧,但只是现在,用不了多久这种情况就会改变。许多专家确信,在经历了多次不成功的尝试后,电子书终于可以大展身手了。琼斯埃文斯是一位资深的作者对外事物代理人,她刚刚离开威廉莫里斯经纪公司。她说:“所有其它内型的媒体——音乐、报纸、电影——都走向了数字化。我们是唯一未能赶上科技步伐的产业。变革指日可待。”

  电子书有什么新进展,能够吸引像埃文斯这样的人?便携设备变得更轻便、更时尚。成千上万册图书正在被扫描成数字格式。“数字墨水”或许是最重大的技术突破,它能将文字显示于屏幕上。一家名叫E Ink的小公司发明了一种方法,用电荷排列黑白粒子形成文字图案。由于只有当用户翻页时才会耗电,所以采用该技术的装置能让读者连续看20本书而不需要充电。显示文本酷似白纸黑字,因为这种微粒的大小和色质与激光打印机的墨粉颗粒一模一样。

  第一个采用这种技术的大厂家是索尼。今年春天,索尼将首次推出采用E Ink技术的“索尼阅读器”,在大小、重量和手感方面都酷似真书。阅读器的售价约为400美元。除了新闻报道和博客文章外,索尼还将在网上书店提供大约1万本电子书供用户下载。

  其它厂家也闻风而动。今年至少还有两家公司将推出自己的电子阅读器。包括Google和蓝登书屋在内的几十家公司都在争取通过其它途径从电子书中获利。苹果电脑公司的影响也是促成电子书兴起的一大原因。苹果公司用iPod 证明,随身携带存有个人喜爱内容的电子产品正被千百万人所接受。除了听音乐,为什么不可以用它来阅读小说和写实类文学作品呢?西蒙古—舒斯特出版公司首席执行官杰克罗曼诺斯说“iPod开时尚之先河,使人们(对供阅读图书用的类似电子产品)乐在其中。这不仅仅是大势所趋,而且别具创意。”

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