posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 04:13 PM
As everyone has probably heard by now, there are many things about the Kindle that Amazon.com is keeping from the public. I had been looking into
purchasing an e-reader about the same time that the Kindle burst onto the market. So naturally I followed with great interest as Amazon launched
their new device. However the more I read about the device the more I became concerned that this e-reader afforded the consumer no ownership rights
whatsoever. From the moment I began researching the Kindle it became incredibly clear to me that Amazon wanted complete control over the content that
it sold you.
The device is thoroughly crippled by the use of DRM and it makes it incredibly difficult to view e-books that you already own. In fact most file
formats have to be converted to the Kindle's proprietary format before they can be viewed on the Kindle. Initially after the launch of the Kindle I
found it incredibly difficult just to find simple technical details about the device such as supported formats. It literally took me hours before I
was able to find the information I was looking for. How many people do you think would keep digging for that information for that long? Probably not
too many which seems to answer why it's shrouded in secrecy. They want customers to purchase it without knowing how restricted the content on the
device is going to be.
They also restrict you from transferring the ownership rights of a book to
So much for the days of reselling used media (books, cds, movies). It seems now a days any digital item you purchase you're
going to be stuck with forever.
So the point of all of this is that now 4 months after the launch it seems there is still an ever present shroud of mystery surrounding certain
details about the device. I recently stumbled upon this
which gives details regarding some hidden functions of the Kindle. All of them seemed rather mundane and harmless until I reached the
section labeled 'Browser'. As I read down the list of browser functions I was shocked to discover that the Kindle has the ability to display your
current location in Google maps.
The device uses EVDO to deliver content to the user. So either the device has the ability to locate you through Sprint's network or it includes a
GPS device that customers were not informed of when they purchased it. As you can probably imagine I chose not to purchase this device for a
multitude of reasons, but I am curious as to whether someone who has purchased the device can verify whether the Google Maps feature is currently
working. So if anyone has purchased a Kindle and can test this feature please post your comments.