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Thread: Kindle: iPod for the Printed Word?

  1. #1
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    Default Kindle: iPod for the Printed Word?

    Stumbled upon what has to be the sweetest utilization of e-paper yet: Kindle from Amazon.

    I was skeptical at first, thinking it was simply a ploy by Amazon to widen their revenue stream. But Kindle is far from a simple reader for e-books. $399 nets you a 6" SVGA electrophoretic display with 256MB internal memory (+SD slot), EVDO/CDMA connectivity (w/free service!), basic web browser and integrated keyboard. Battery life is rated at three days with heavy use.

    What struck me about the user reviews is that many owners reported that their Kindles replicated the immersive experience of their textual target while going a step further -- actually increasing their reading efficiency as well. People cited the device's abilities to bookmark, annotate and lookup text in helping them better devour reading material.

    The free EVDO service is also a major selling point -- gotta love the instant gratification of being able to read a book minutes after buying it online. Plus any newspapers or blogs you subscribe to are automatically delivered to you each morning. There's no need to ever connect the Kindle to your computer.

    Amazon sweetens the deal by pricing the downloadable versions of its books at $9.99 and below.

    The only buzzkills for me are the price of admission and the $0.99 per blog monthly subscription fee. I'm actually over the look of it. Just think of it as the long lost stepchild of the Newton. Definitely will pick one (or two *looks over at Cyn*) up after the price drops.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Kindle: iPod for the Printed Word?

    Ugh. That blog subscription thing has got to go, although I guess it doesn't matter to me as much as it might. eMusic.com recently began offering an ebook subscription plan, which I am considering getting once I've finished this blasted thesis. You think the thing will be Amazon-specific, or would I be able to download from eMusic and read whatever I get from there?

    256 mb of RAM seems excessive -- I wonder if you'd ever come close to needing that.
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Kindle: iPod for the Printed Word?

    Besides the proprietary Kindle format (AZW), the Kindle also natively supports unprotected Mobipocket content, plain txt files, MP3s and Audible 2, 3 and 4. I'm guessing eMusic will offer eBooks in Adobe eBook format. If that's the case, it's only a matter of printing it to a .pdf file using Scansoft PDF Creator, converting the .pdf to HTML using the software on Mobipocket's site and then e-mailing the file to Amazon for conversion to AZW format. Yah, kind of a pain. But at least Amazon is supposed to have a turnaround time of < 30 minutes. The damage is $0.10 per converted document.

    I'm thinking it's only a matter of time before someone codes a more elegant solution. Kindle runs a modified version of Linux.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kindle: iPod for the Printed Word?

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    Stumbled upon what has to be the sweetest utilization of e-paper yet: Kindle from Amazon.
    ...

    Definitely will pick one (or two *looks over at Cyn*) up after the price drops.
    yah, i likey the idea of not having to haul around boulders of textbooks! plus, it's kinda trek-y. another PADD-like device in addition to my handed-down-to-me-by-eric pocket pc.
    superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

    "when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

    nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kindle: iPod for the Printed Word?

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    Stumbled upon what has to be the sweetest utilization of e-paper yet: Kindle from Amazon.
    That's a really cool looking device (and concept), but the $399 price tag is a bit much. Maybe the price will drop in a couple of months ... like the iPhone.

    There's another thread about eBook readers (Sony and Plucker) in HT http://www.hawaiithreads.com/showthr...?t=6655&page=9 (scroll down to Post #207) and another mention of Kindle in Ian Lind's blog http://ilind.net/ (November 19 entry). Seems like eBook readers have finally matured. I wonder what that means for printed books?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Kindle: iPod for the Printed Word?

    Time to buzz up this thread.

    Amazon's backpedaling removal of books has finally resulted in a class-action lawsuit, and I for one agree with the student.

    If I had a Kindle and lost any of my books to Amazon's scheming ways, I would be joining this suit. This phrase says it all for me, and I totally agree: "Amazon had no more right to hack into people's Kindles than its customers have the right to hack into Amazon's bank account to recover a mistaken overpayment." (statement by Jay Edelson, lawyer who filed the suit.)

    (I am beginning to have a dislike for Amazon. My last few forays into retail research there have resulted in a response of "sorry, sista, you stay Hawai'i; no sale for you!" 'Course that is off topic, but I'm just sayin'.)

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