Meet the Wikireader. It's about the size of a portable alarm clock, with a one-color screen, a MicroSD card, and a touchscreen with three buttons, running on two AAA batteries. Update the card on the company's Web site or they'll send you four updates a year for $30. The retail price is $99.
Perhaps no business has been so transformed by open source as encyclopedias.
The appearance of Wikipedia, and its many cousins, rivals and inlaws, has wrecked the business. Even giant Microsoft's Encarta has succumbed, as of the end of this month.
We all know the jokes about Wikipedia's accuracy, but since it beat the Encyclopedia Brittanica in a blind taste test nearly four years ago attention has focused more on making it better, or creating rivals to it, than knocking the idea of open source, crowdsourced content.