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Amazon's Kindle, a new e-book reader

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posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 12:48 PM
About 15 minutes ago, an announcement appeared on Amazon's home page, announcing their new e-book reader, which they call "Kindle". Here is the link to their 6-minute video walk-through along with a lot of other details on this new product: _rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=329252801&pf_rd_i=507846

And here is the Reuters story from a few minutes ago on the Kindle:;_ylt=AhFY6cyBp5isgKQFo47DPPwjtBAF

Since the Kindle allows wireless updates without a subscription to a monthly wireless plan, and does not even require ownership of a computer, it's definitely an e-book reader I will consider buying. A lot depends, of course, on which books will be available. The scope of included books is important, but so is the timespan of that "purchase" for use on an e-book. Some e-book readers only give subscribers the rights to purchased books for a limited period of time.

Beyond books, the Kindle can access newspapers and blogs. That makes me more interested in starting an ATS blog!

So we'll get more information as time goes on. But I also want to ask BTS members, have you ever used an e-book reader? If yes, do you still use one? If not, why not?

[edit on 11/19/2007 by Uphill]

posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 11:10 PM
I just got done watching Charlie Rose interview Jeff Bezos of Amazon and the entire interview was about the Kindle. I immediately went to to take a closer look at this thing.

As much as I like books, I'm also a bit of a gadget freak and so even with the $400 price tag, I was giving some thought to getting one.

But then I browsed the available titles. I entered the following authors: Umberto Eco, Mark Helprin, Douglas Hofstadter, Thomas Pynchon and Jack Kerouac. The only title that they had available for any of these authors was the new "original scroll" version of "On the Road".

Thus, I don't anticipate getting a Kindle in the very near future.

posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 11:22 PM
It seems to me to be a little late for this whole e-book concept now.

Who will really want an e-book when all it does is show words!! where are the high def pics, the photos, the MP3's and the home movies...

And the general styling and layout is quite poor, IMO.

If they sell 1000 of these before they upgrade I'll be quite surprised, in a nice way. It's good to read!


Edit for really shockingly bad use of the English language.

[edit on 19/11/07 by ChiKeyMonKey]

posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 04:43 AM
Sorry, but no deal.

It has far too many limitations, for example, NO .pdf support.

When I purchase a book (much like a song) I expect to be allowed to keep it for as long as I please, and be able to transfer it to any of my devices as I please. (From phone to pda, to computer etc.)

All I want, is an ebook reader with .pdf support (along with many others of course) and maybe even an mp3 player. (I love listening to music when I read.) Wifi would be nice, but would hike the price up. (Wifi would be great if we could use it as a semi-internet device.)

All I need, is something with USB/Firewire support and the ability to read most ebook formats out there. Until I see one, I´ll be sticking to my old Sharp Tripad.



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 10:56 AM
Still too small. I anxiously awaited the release of the Sony reader and was thoroughly disappointed by its small size. This one isn't much better.

I have been looking for years for a decent electronic book reader. So far it looks like the best option is still a regular tablet PC.

What I want: full 8.5x11" screen or close to it, able to read all common document formats (TXT, DOC, PDF), and at least a gig of storage.

[edit on 20-11-2007 by apc]

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 11:46 AM
There may never be a single "best" e-book reader, because the interests of readers are so diverse. That's actually a good thing, I think. I agree that the current limits on what books (and newspapers) you can read on a Kindle are serious problems. While I understand and accept the validity of all the dissatisfaction mentioned so far in this thread, I still expect to see an expanding marketplace of e-book readers (I'll call them EBRs for the sake of brevity). For instance, Apple is widely expected to announce its own EBR, perhaps at their upcoming annual meeting. Hopefully all that competition will drive development not in one direction but in many directions in order to help potential customers "walk through a (reading) transaction" with different devices in order to realize their own priorities for such devices. Perhaps a more basic EBR will eventually be developed (or hacked), from a build-it-yourself point of view, such as the Linux operating system developers have done in the software realm.

Somewhere in my papers I have a set of essays written by Ray Kurzweil, the noted futurist, on EBR features that would be necessary to compete effectively with printed materials. Let me see if I can find that. In the meantime, here is a link to a good cross-section of discussions on EBRs and related topics:

And here is a link to the first article in that Kurzweil series on EBRs. If you dig around in his website, you can eventually find the other titles. (I printed them all out because it took me Awhile to find them all.) And the link is:

P.S.: From Wednesday November 21st, there is an Associated Press technology review of the Kindle. They recommend against buying the Kindle due to battery life problems. On the subject of PDF files, here's what they say:

"If you want to bring PDFs or Microsoft Word documents, you have to e-mail them to Amazon, which converts them and sends them to the Kindle over the wireless network for 10 cents each. In my test, Portable Document Format files with text in columns were garbled in the conversion."

Here is a link to the entire article, which I saw first on Yahoo! News:;_ylt=Akr3JgXFYReBazS1LgBG_eKs0NUE

[edit on 11/23/2007 by Uphill]

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 12:04 PM
Thanks for those links. I've not yet had the time to ready all of their content but there does appear to be some good information there.

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 07:07 PM
Today I bought the newsstand copy of the November 26, 2007 edition of Newsweek magazine. Their cover article is on the Kindle. You can read that article for free online on their website, at:

Alternative EBRs preferred by some users include the iRex (which is more expensive than Kindle, but is fully compatible with PDF files), available at:

Another commentor on PDF-capable EBRs prefers the Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC for $749.99 (sale price); it can be enhanced with software called BlueBeam PDF.

In the Newsweek Reader Comments section for the above Newsweek article, one reader invites people to look at his full article of comments on the Kindle at his blog, which is at:

So far, my overall impressions of Kindle are:

1. Foir travelers, Kindle can't be beat if the books you'd like to read en route are currently available for that EBR. It's also very tempting for readers like myself whose physical bookshelves got filled to overflowing many moons ago.

2. All electronic EBRs have a severe and chronic problem with the issue of emulation. In other words, what is the future capability of any EBR to remain usable with book publisher software that hasn't been invented yet? Jeff Rothenberg, the noted writer on preservation issues with digital technology, has a number of free online articles available, such as one from this year:

Jeff's landmark article on the problems with the preservation of digital documents was written in 1995 in the magazine Scientific American. You can read that article for free if you have a library card at a local library.

3. Being the suspicious person that I am, I wonder if future price decreases in the Kindle will be achieved by including (horrors) advertising with the downloaded book. There is only so much degradation of the reading experience that users will put up with.

4. I was impressed by the point made in the Newsweek article about the advantage of using an EBR as an alternative to the old-fashioned killing of trees in traditional printing of paper books. That's something to think about.

5. Digital copyright managment (DCRM) issues (control over the content -- i.e., books, newspapers, blogs, etc. -- that can be downloaded to the Kindle) are complex. There are a number of lawsuits in progress by publishers and by groups representing authors, and it's hard to know how those cases will work out.

My own guess is that anyone who thinks that DCRM is a deal-breaker forever is missing the point: What is true about the power struggle over yesterday's and today's books may not at all be true about tomorrow's books. True, leading novelists like John Updike and Annie Proulx won't have anything to do with EBRs, but frankly, how many more books do today's established writers have in them? The future is a big place, and my guess is that almost all future authors will co-exist to some extent with EBRs that feature their writings. Behavior has a habit of changing, especially as each new generation of people matures.

Anyway, here is one last link, from a blogger who nicely rounds out the picture on the "total cost of ownership" of the Kindle:

[edit on 11/24/2007 by Uphill]

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 06:15 PM
According to the story below in the New York Times, a Kindle II is about to be unleased, with some tweaks that make it more user-friendly, and a faster microchip to support word lookups, etc:

Despite Oprah's endorsement of the Kindle last November, I think it's overpriced. When I'm ready to get a new cellphone, I'll take a close look at the T-Mobile phones that run the Google Android operating system. Some of the Android apps allows reading books ... just think of all those Google books already online, even with the copyright limitations.

Has anybody used the book app on Google Android yet?

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 10:15 AM
Latest new version of the Kindle will be the Kindle DX, which will be for sale sometime this summer. Here is a link to a page which compares features between Kindle and the Kindle DX: pf_rd_r=064GDH3WR8FPSBZQ2XZ5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=476565871&pf_rd_i=507846

For example, the Kindle DX screen is larger horizontally and vertically than the Kindle, and the Kindle DX will be able to download PDF pages.

And here is today's New York Times story on the Kindle DX:

[edit on 5/6/2009 by Uphill]

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 03:47 AM
If I had the cash to be able to afford it, I would certainly buy it. It seems like the perfect gadget for me.

I used a Palm Zire 71 exclusively as a means to read PDF ebooks. It sure beat bringing a clumsy paperback with me everywhere I went. Unfortunately I busted the screen late last year and haven't bothered to upgrade.

Only recently started reading again after that great tragedy, this time mostly the paper variety.

As much as I appreciate the appeal of holding a book in your hands, the textures and the smells, using a device like a Palm or a Kindle is just so much more practical. It's amazing to me that we can now carry an entire library more or less in a slim, pocket sized device.

[edit on 15-5-2009 by Monger]

posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 05:21 PM
Calling all would-be Kindle buyers out there! Please read the attached breaking news by a very very disgruntled Kindle user before you spend any money:

DRM is "digital rights management" and apparently the number of times you can download a particular book (or "work") onto Kindle varies with the whim of the publisher.

In other words, you may only be able to download a book onto your targer e-book reader, laptop computer, cellphone, whatever, perhaps only Once or Twice before the DRM policy of that publisher kicks in and yes, you have to buy that same book all over again. That is a major bummer.

[edit on 7/29/2009 by Uphill]

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 11:01 PM
I tried it at a university I went to over the summer. I borrowed it. It's quite nice. It has a lot of books on it. I like the hardware. It's totally neat because it has all of the pages on it and it's really easy to read the books on it. I'm totally going to get one because I end up carrying a lot of books to school sometimes so this would really lighten the load for me.

posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 01:10 PM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

Before some of the more recent developments with Kindle, son of Kindle, etc., I would have said that Kindle is a no-brainer advantage for undergraduate and graduate students, but these worsening problems with DRM are starting to seriously give me the creeps:

1. The limit of one or perhaps two times tops that you can download your purchased copy of an electronic work is mean (greedy, that is).

2. The recent move of Amazon to delete downloaded copies of 1984 (surely the worst possible example of what they could have chosen to delete!) is another really lame move in a similar direction.

Since you are a student, I advise you very seriously to speak both with your teacher and the head of your university department about their recommendations about the use (or avoidance) of electronic book readers. Frankly, your best bet might be to approach the Director of your university library to ask whether electronic book readers could be checked out by students from the library (now or in the future), thus making any future DRM problems the Library's Problem and not Your Problem. Seriously, that really might be the best thing for any student to do, ask BEFORE you spend the big bucks.

[edit on 8/3/2009 by Uphill]

posted on Aug, 8 2009 @ 08:32 PM
reply to post by Uphill

Oh, I'm not a student at a university. I'm a student at a community college. I took a class at a university this summer because I'm interested in going there next year. And I used their Kindle. I've used E-readers in the past. I really liked the Kindle when I used it. I'm aware of Amazon's control and censorship over the device.

I've had plenty of experience with e-readers (I've been using them for like a year now). I know what they're like.

I really like the kindle. It's really nice and I wouldn't need to bring around so many books if I carried it.

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 12:48 PM
reply to post by Uphill

Here is a story from yesterday afternoon about Sony, which yesterday began selling a $199.00 "Pocket Edition" e-book reader which has a 5-inch screen, as well as a larger $299.00 touch-screen model.

I'll have to take a look at the devices in a Sony store, but the features of the Sony service that really stand out for me so far are:

Sony is committed to an open e-book standard (so its readers can read copy-protected books from a variety of stores), unlike Kindle, whose copy-protected books are only those available for purchase on the Amazon website. The open standard also means that the Sony downloads can be move to other devices such as cell phones. Nice.

The article goes on to say that Sony e-book readers will be able to download library books for a 21-day lending period. Also nice.

[edit on 8/26/2009 by Uphill]

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