ebook reader advice

22 replies [Last post]
Patrick Mc(avery
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Joined: 08/15/2011

Hi Everyone

I want to buy a ebook from here :
https://www.kobo.com/ca/en

Do you think I will be able to open it with fbread?

I am in Canada, Chapters-Indigo bought up almost all the book stores
here and they are our main supplier. KOBO is their line of ebooks.

Their desktop software runs on Win-Dohs 8. I have three computers here
and one has Windows 7. I do not want to pay for Windows 8.

If your not in Canada, how do things work in your country? Barnes and
Noble is a big one in the US.

I heard RMS talking about how they deleted people's books without their
consent.

Am I about to get hosed?

Any advice would be great-Patrick

SuperTramp83

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Joined: 10/31/2014

Throw them a mail and ask them?

Patrick Mc(avery
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Joined: 08/15/2011

On 18-03-26 03:30 PM, name at domain wrote:
> Throw them a mail and ask them?
>
Your right, will do, sorry for the noise

martinh
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Joined: 02/21/2014

Use Calibre !

Shouldn't be a problem to open nearly any ebook !

https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Calibre

As to whether ebooks get deleted, I think that's only a problem
on dedicated ebook readers.

aloniv

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Joined: 01/11/2011

kobo uses DRM on some/all of their ebooks, so it's best to avoid getting ebooks from there.

https://www.kobo.com/help/en-US/article/3501/using-adobe-digital-editions

pengnuin
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Joined: 08/17/2017

I agree with aloniv on the point of avoiding DRM, the few books I looked at on their site all say that they come with Adobe DRM. Opening epub however shouldn't be an issue for e.g. fbreader.
The deletion of books RMS occasionally talks about refers to the Amazon (Sw/K)indle, which was used by Amazon to delete 1984 from readers devices. If you were to use a Free Software reader application, you won't run the risk of this happening to you - but you might run the risk of not being able to view the book (now or in the future) if the DRM is intrusive enough.

You might find https://www.defectivebydesign.org/guide/ebooks to be an interesting read.

Patrick Mc(avery
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Joined: 08/15/2011

Thanks for all the help guys.

With ebooks, I don't have to buy Canadian, I think I will look for a
better supplier.

strypey
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Joined: 05/14/2015

There's always Project Gutenberg. They have over 56,000 gratis e-books available for download, donations welcome:
http://www.gutenberg.org

SuperTramp83

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teh largest database -> http://gen.lib.rus.ec/

strypey
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It certainly has a big database, but the download options seems to consist of torrents with no seeders, and .chm files, which seems like a dodgy thing to open on a local machine from an untrusted source.

SuperTramp83

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>but the download options seems to consist of torrents with no seeders

There are various options, two of them work just fine without javascript, namely b-ok.org and bookfi.net

Example ->

meh.png
Magic Banana

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Joined: 07/24/2010

CHM is just glorified HTML (with an index): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Compiled_HTML_Help

strypey
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True, but it is a known vector the delivery of malware, at least on Windows:
https://blog.checkpoint.com/2015/05/12/the-microsoft-help-file-chm-may-enslave-you/

Also, there seems to be no default program for opening .CHM files on Trisquel 7. I decided to take the risk and open one, but the system tells me no program is available to open such a file.

Magic Banana

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xchm is in Trisquel's repository.

strypey
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Thanks for the tip MagicBanana. So I need to install xchm from the Trisquel repos? You are confident I am not putting my system at risk by using that to open a .CHM file from a random website, even give its capacity for malware delivery (as shown in the link I gave)?

Magic Banana

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The link you gave say:

Check Point researcher Liad Mizrachi has conducted research showing that .chm files can be used to execute code on a victim computer running Microsoft Windows Vista, and higher.

Although GNU/Linux is certainly "higher" than any version of Windows, I do not think that sentence includes it! :-)

strypey
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True, but that refers to the *specific* exploit they tested. I'm sure you know better than to think that malware can never infect a GNU-Linux system. Getting a user to open an untrusted file from a random website, when the file type is one that is a *known vector for malware* on at least one OS, seems to me like exactly the sort of social engineering attack that could be used to overcome the baked-in security of GNU-Linux.

This is especially the case when opening that file requires the user to install a non-default piece of software like xchm, a GUI layer developed by one person on SourceForge (known to be a source of untrustworthy binaries), for a library (CHMLib) developed by one person, that hasn't been worked on since 2009!
https://github.com/jedwing/CHMLib

Chances are neither of these programs has been security tested with Ubuntu 14.04, let alone with Trisquel specifically, nor the code put through a security audit. I might as well just put out a welcome mat outside my front door with my root passphrase printed on it, take a photo, and post it on 4Chan with my current IP address.

Magic Banana

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OK. The situation is the same as with Office documents (except that an Office document is a more effective vector of malware): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macro_virus

So, do whatever you do when you open an Office document.

strypey
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I only open office documents when I know exactly where they've come from, and I trust the full chain of upstream sources to have reasonably secure practices. In other words, I don't open many office documents, and like Stallman, I tend to insist on being given OpenDocument formats, not Microsoft anti-formats. I don't open office documents from untrusted random internet sites at all (I'm much less suspicious of .PDF files. Is that unwise?).

So following your advice, I should not install this unmaintained package and open the .CHM file at all.

jamathis

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I've been thinking of getting either the Inkbook Classic 2 or Inkbook Prime. They run AOSP and you can install F-Droid on them to install reader programs that are free. There was a recent episode of Gnu World Order about this reader and it seems like a decent choice over a Kindle or anything similar.

Here is the episode of Gnu World Order for anyone interested. http://gnuworldorder.info/audiophile/gnuWorldOrder_12x7.ogg

pengnuin
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Joined: 08/17/2017

Those actually look like good devices I could live with for a price I'd be willing to pay!
Thanks for mentioning it, I might actually get one. AOSP definitely isn't perfect, but better than the kind of stuff one can expect on a Amazon Fire shmablet out of the box...

strypey
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pengnuin wrote:
>> AOSP definitely isn't perfect, but better than the kind of stuff one can expect on a Amazon Fire shmablet out of the box... <<

Agreed. I'm tempted to get a device from Inkbook too, unless anyone can suggest a more freedom-respecting option? There are some notes being here collected to inform the process of developing e-readers that could be RYF certified:
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:Hardware/Freest/e-readers

loldier
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...one has Windows 7. I do not want to pay for Windows 8.

Free upgrade to win 10 still works like it always has (no tricks with disability). Just saying. I don't think you should use win nor will I go into details but MS gives it out for free contrary to their marketing hype that the free upgrade days are done and over with. At least you should never pay cash for win. If you install it you'll pay in other ways in kind (insecure, privacy breaches, spam, proprietary code).

https://www.techradar.com/news/windows-10-free-upgrade-is-still-alive-and-kicking-in-2018