Nobody getting patted down would know if it is a rule or just a one off (something for this day in this place).
OK, let me get this straight...
You're posting a comment on a blog. This blog, and therefore your comment, can be read worldwide. This is via a series of tubes known as the "Internet".
Yet, somehow, airline passengers would be incapable of using this so-called "Internet" to write about their experiences through blogs and comments, to enable them to collectively deduce the rules you are arguing cannot be divulged. This is despite the fact that your comments indicate there is a fairly low threshold of intelligence required for Internet-based communication.
We all know that downloading a movie via a torrent is significantly slower than a direct digital download (say an ituned download).
And your proof of this is...what, exactly? I don't pirate movies, but I download movie-sized things (e.g., Ubuntu ISOs), and the torrents are scary fast compared to the alternatives.
So humor me Mike, exactly what type of book would you need to check for an update before using? Computer languages? Most of them move at a glacial speed anyway (in internet terms) that would require maybe 1 update a year. I can't see that as a "reason to buy".
The updates to an author's work could be at the chapter, book, or collection level. My subscriptions are at the collection level. I have thousands of paying subscribers, who pay an annual fee for access to updates to a growing collection of books plus other RtB (e.g., online support chats). I also have thousands of buyers of my print books, for those who like their prose on thinly-sliced trees, though they don't get nearly as good of a deal.
I'm a card-carrying member of the CwF/RtB fan club. Well, I would be if they had cards. Does a Techdirt T-shirt count?
Also, let's add this: the updating service isn't free to maintain or to do.
No, but the cost of the "updating service" is well under 1% of the cost of sales, at least in my case.
In simple business terms, you have a closed end sale with an opened ended obligation and expense, which means every book sold would generate no real profit, but in fact would generate a life long liablity.
I agree that a one-time purchase does not jive well with the continuous update model. That is the reason I use a subscription model and license at the collection level, so updates are fairly frequent.
While I disagree with much of what Johnny wrote above, I do agree that WebOS may not be the limiting factor for Palm Pre sales.
There is little, other than elbow grease, that would prevent a WebOS-compatible container being written for Android. It might not even require firmware changes. I sorta expected somebody to have already written a WebOS-alike framework for Android or iPhone or something else with WebKit baked in. There might need to be firmware changes to address a small percentage of WebOS features that lack Android analogues, but most core stuff should work OK AFAICT.
The Pre has a faster CPU than many of the early crop of Android devices, but the next wave, starting with the Motorola DROID, should have plenty of horsepower to run a WebKit-based app fluidly. The DROID, for example, has the same CPU as the Pre, IIRC.
So, if Palm did decide to go with Android, they would "merely" have to write a WebOS container for Android, then they could carry over all their existing WebOS apps, yet still have access to Android apps.
Conversely, should Palm kick the bucket or head seriously in that direction, the WebOS community could work to create such a container so they could continue their app development. As PhoneGap and Appcelerator Titanium Mobile have demonstrated, it is very possible to create cross-platform mobile apps using WebKit, so a WebOS container could be written that ran on multiple mobile platforms.