Googles competing pdf reader just renders pdfs into images which also have selectable text.
The fact they have to jump through hoops to achieve that, while potentially impressive, is a function of their entire RFB (reason for being... I just coined the term).
Any company that can kick Adobe in the nuts by publicly reconfiguring their business to shun Flash is all right with me. And what technical prowess these guys have. Incredibly smart people there.
<span style="color:rgba(0,0,0,0)">Hello world</span>
Your browser controls stop working as expected, history gets bent, links don't work as expected. All of a sudden you're now working within an Adobe Reader application or FoxIt Reader (albeit embedded in the browser) without even realizing you're in an entirely different context outside of an HTML page.
I also don’t know how Scribd helps users understand that better. Seems horribly confusing to me if you don’t follow them closely. (Wait what? The PDF is suddenly a webpage? But sometimes Flash? I can still download the PDF? Why doesn’t it look exactly like the webpage? What’s going on?) It’s perfectly usable, even without a deep grasp of the concepts, but so are PDF viewers inside browsers.
I’m using Safari and to me viewing PDFs is the same as viewing webpages. Heck, it’s even a bit more comfortable. (There is one big button with which I can open the PDF in Preview which allows me to rearrange/delete pages and to annotate and there is another big button which allows me to save the PDF for later reading.)
What Scribd does certainly is impressive, I’m just not sure how useful it is.