Mike Cane, outspoken publishing and eBook blogger and advocate for freedom for digital media consumers everywhere has thrown down the gauntlet at Apple’s feet. Last night, he posted a note on his blog stating in no uncertain terms that if Apple meets juts a few requirements with the release of their tablet (one of which, of course, is that it exists in the first place) he will cease blogging–which for Cane means taking direct shots at at what he sees as the ignorance and evil throughout the industry–forever. Here is what he wants apple to deliver:
I expect four things from Apple:
1) The iSlate–I still expect one with a seven-inch, not ten-inch, screen. But any damned size would do at this point.
2) Apple announcing digital books for it. (Hello, Disney?)
3) Digital books given a real marketplace–not just lumped together with free games and eejitastic fart apps as they have been in the App Store.
4) A new version of iWork–with digital book creation ability for all.
Do that, Apple, and this blog is dead.
The ten-inch screen seems pretty likely at this point. A real eBook and periodical marketplace will be essential–and it’s got to be properly indexed and searchable, with a little bit of editorial to point us toward content we might like. The iTunes store won’t work.
Perhaps most interesting is Cane’s demand for iWork with digital book creation. Apple’s consumer culture is an odd mix of empowerment and centralization. The company gives us to tools to do everything from design to filmmaking to music recording right from our desktop. But then, it’s almost hard to imagine the company that has so powerfully maintained its corporate secrecy inviting authors to cut out the middle man. Desktop publishing of professional quality eBooks is going to be an essential part of how eBooks take firm hold. But don’t be surprised if Mike Cane is still blogging come February.