View Full Version : NY Times new article on ebooks / Amazon Kindle


Liviu_5
09-06-2007, 12:55 AM
Highlights: Kindle - October; Google full access books - fall

Here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/technology/06amazon.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

JSWolf
09-06-2007, 01:11 AM
Highlights: Kindle - October; Google full access books - fall

Here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/technology/06amazon.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

So is the Kindle going to be a deal breaker for the Cybook Gen3?

jasonkchapman
09-06-2007, 07:37 AM
It probably depends on what "$400-$500" translates into in real-world money. It also depends on what "proprietary format" really means--just Mobipocket, or some Kindle-specific variation? It also depends on whether they are going to rig things so that only the Kindle can access the store.

Since the originally-rumored $50 price tag isn't happening, I'm guessing the store is going to be accessible without the Kindle, because they're not trying to recoup device costs from content sales. That means the store could succeed regardless of what happens with the device.

For me, wireless, Web browser, and keyboard are just useless features that push the price well out of "average joe" range.

Kilarney
09-06-2007, 07:46 AM
Yup. I'm glad I didn't wait for the Kindle. It's trying to be an "all-in-one" device - like the Iliad. I just want a reader.

Hadrien
09-06-2007, 08:30 AM
Well... I don't understand why Amazon is including Wifi and a keyboard either. A simple device priced around 200$ would be much more attractive for a mass market target. Early adopters might use the Wifi/Keyboard duo, but for most people, this is pretty useless. Amazon should reconsider this whole situation, maybe release 2 devices instead of a single one if they really need to sell a more advanced reader.

VillageReader
09-06-2007, 09:50 AM
Well, they could be taking the Apple iPhone approach, the high price for early adopters then a price cut just before (or after) the holidays.

Adam B.
09-06-2007, 10:43 AM
...Amazon is using a proprietary e-book format from Mobipocket, a French company that Amazon bought in 2005

Looks like they're just using the standard Mobipocket format. This should be a huge boost for Mobipocket, and if the Kindle thrives, it may pave the way for more publishers looking to Mobipocket. These are all good things, imo.

I wonder if it looks the same as those pics we've seen back in the day. Since they claim it has a keyboard, I'm betting it's going to be that same big, fugly thing.

jharker
09-06-2007, 10:52 AM
As I read the NYTimes article I was amused at their discussion of the Kindle's advantages, because from what I can see the iLiad already has them. Some choice excerpts:

Several people who have seen the Kindle say this is where the device’s central innovation lies — in its ability to download books and periodicals, and browse the Web, without connecting to a computer.

But with the work on Minimo and the new Feedbooks program from Adam, Hadrien, and others, the iLiad will soon be able to do just that!

Some also complain about the fact that Amazon is using a proprietary e-book format from Mobipocket, a French company that Amazon bought in 2005, instead of supporting the open e-book standard backed by most major publishers and high-tech companies like Adobe. That means owners of other digital book devices, like the Sony Reader, will not be able to use books purchased on Amazon.com.

Ah, but with the iLiad, you CAN read Mobipocket books...

On the one hand, I agree that the keyboard and scroll wheel seem superfluous. On the other hand, how will you browse the web without a keyboard, if you don't have a stylus? Personally, I think a stylus makes web browsing much more convenient than a scroll wheel can. Maybe I'm just biased. :)

Actually, I think that such a feature-heavy device will not appeal to the basic user who just wants to read a book on the go. For simple e-book reading, elegance and convenience are the most important. As much as I love my iLiad, I think the device that will contribute the most to ebooks' future will be the Sony Reader.

The news that both Amazon and Google are getting into e-books is very promising for the expansion of the current library of available e-books, both from them and from other publishers. Anything that means I can get more e-books is a good thing to me! The article expresses some pessimism that e-books will catch on, but in my opinion, their past failure has always been due to two problems: Very few titles available electronically Poor reading aesthetic of LCD screens.E-Ink already solved #2. With luck, Amazon and Google will soon solve #1.

wallcraft
09-06-2007, 01:46 PM
Well... I don't understand why Amazon is including Wifi and a keyboard either. In the original FCC filing (discussed in the thread Amazon E Ink reader? (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7569), which includes links to the manual), the "wireless" was EDVO cell phone network connectivity, not WiFi. This may have changed, since WiFi is becoming more popular, but you don't need WiFi's potentially higher bandwidth for most e-books.

NatCh
09-06-2007, 01:48 PM
EVDO generally has a subscription/service cost associated with using it too, doesn't it?

wallcraft
09-06-2007, 02:00 PM
I assume Amazon is going to buy capacity from existing cell phone providers, but I have no idea how this will be paid for (subscription, bundled in the price of the downloaded content, etcetera).

HarryT
09-06-2007, 02:02 PM
Looks like they're just using the standard Mobipocket format. This should be a huge boost for Mobipocket, and if the Kindle thrives, it may pave the way for more publishers looking to Mobipocket. These are all good things, imo.


Very much so. I've said it before and I'll say it again: MobiPocket rapidly appears to be becoming the dominant format for commercial eBooks. With the muscle of Amazon behind it, it can only thrive.

I'll be interesting to see what happens to formats like Sony's "LRX" DRM format in the future. Wonder if we'll see a future Sony Reader supporting MobiPocket?

slayda
09-06-2007, 02:27 PM
Kindle - too much, too late!! :knife:

NatCh
09-06-2007, 02:51 PM
:laugh4: You have a way with words, slayda! Thanks for the chuckle. :)

MaggieScratch
09-06-2007, 07:02 PM
I recently discovered the joy of making notes in an e-book, using eReader and Mobipocket on my Treo, and exporting them to a memo--it's wonderful for book groups. I never wrote in dead-tree books and I hate reading used books that someone has written in, but note-taking in Mobipocket/eReader is fantastic. I have been salivating at the prospect of a Cybook Gen3, but I would be sad to give up that ability. If the Kindle has e-ink AND note-taking abilities as well as wireless book purchases, I might be swayed over; but if it's that fugly thing they keep showing on Engadget, I might sway right back over to the Cybook again. Amazon can't possibly think that people would pay $400 for that horrible thing, could they?

NatCh
09-06-2007, 07:23 PM
We've been wondering that for a year now, MaggieScratch. There's some who think that the chassis from the pix was simply a quick and dirty packaging to show the FCC, and that the final design will be vastly different from the "fugly one." (which still reminds me of the original Battlestar Galactica :grin:)

James Scherber
09-06-2007, 07:44 PM
I am excited about the Kindle. I would love to have the New York Times automatically downloaded daily onto my Kindle along with my Tech Magazines monthly. How about a digital copy of the New York times that automatically updates itself as news stories develop and only contains the sections I'm interested in? Novels and manuals are great, but this type of device could do so much more.

Hadrien
09-06-2007, 08:10 PM
I am excited about the Kindle. I would love to have the New York Times automatically downloaded daily onto my Kindle along with my Tech Magazines monthly. How about a digital copy of the New York times that automatically updates itself as news stories develop and only contains the sections I'm interested in? Novels and manuals are great, but this type of device could do so much more.

Well, this is content you're talking about, not a device. You could do exactly the same things on the iLiad, or on the Sony/Cybook (though you would have to update through USB for these 2).
I read TechCrunch, Slashdot, Tech Dirt and BBC News on my Sony Reader every morning...

James Scherber
09-06-2007, 09:44 PM
Well, this is content you're talking about, not a device. You could do exactly the same things on the iLiad, or on the Sony/Cybook (though you would have to update through USB for these 2).
I read TechCrunch, Slashdot, Tech Dirt and BBC News on my Sony Reader every morning...

Having to sync to my PC every time I want an update on a news story or to visit a website would be a deal killer for me. Much rather have it pushed right to the unit. It is what is so tremendous about the new iPod touch, content downloads directly to the unit. I do pretty much the same thing with audio books (audible.com) directly to my Blackberry. I listen to the Times every morning, no syncing involved. Pretty neat. I am concerned however what the subscription for the Kindle is going to cost me.

I'm curious what a hyperlinked newspaper would be like. Read a news story about the Taliban in Afganistan. Select the word Taliban and read the Wikipedia entry on them or some such thing. How about novels. See an obscure entry in the text and select it to read background data on the subject.

I'm curious what people could do with this technology.

James Scherber
09-06-2007, 09:46 PM
We've been wondering that for a year now, MaggieScratch. There's some who think that the chassis from the pix was simply a quick and dirty packaging to show the FCC, and that the final design will be vastly different from the "fugly one." (which still reminds me of the original Battlestar Galactica :grin:)

I think the final design is going to be pretty close I'm afraid. The Times article specifically mentions the scroll wheel on the right side of the display and also the right hand indicator.

NatCh
09-06-2007, 10:55 PM
I think it was the shape of the chassis that most folks found ... objectionable, rather than the specific controls. :shrug:

CommanderROR
09-07-2007, 06:30 AM
I'm pretty sure they won't be selling it with that design... ;)

The whole Amazon Kindle deal would excite me a great deal more if it didn't look like a US exclusive deal once more. The sony Reader has still not made it's way over here, so I guess the Kindle would take just as long...forever...
Wireless book transfer is a nice thing, but as long as the wireless data costs are so high and WiFi hotsports are not at all free and far apart here in Germany, I guess it's a no-deal at the moment.
It's something i've been raving against for years now...we have a alomost 100% coverage of mobile networks, at least GPRS is available everywhere, but for the trickle of bandwidth it offers it's just too darn expensive. Also, the kindle would need a SIM card to work, and that would meanyou either need a new mobile contract or a Kindle specific subscription...and then it depends on who they partner with...
I'd love to see something like the "Fon" project get going, where everybody just offers part of his/her WiFi and landline interent connection bandwith to the general public...that would ensure almost 100% coverage in cities, and for the outlying areas you could always go with long-range WiFi or WiMax connections to bridge the gap...and make those part of every landline DSL flatrate...but that's just my dream.

In that case a system like the Kindle or the Iliad with their wireless connection would make sense. Otherwise, just making a cheap and easy book-reader that you fill up with books at home would be perfect...

Oh wait...there is still the price issue...and the availability issue... :(
IF Amazon could really put some pressure on the publishers to sell the DRM (mobipocket) ebooks for significantly less than the paperback version right from the first appearance of the hardcover, then ebooks would perhaps finally start finding some real demand...

Well, I guess we won't see my dreams come true this time, but it might be a small step in the right direction anyway...we'll see...Oktober is close...if they make it to market by then...
Would it be the first time on of these eink devices is NOT delayed? ;)

TadW
09-07-2007, 06:59 AM
What the BusinessWeek thinks about it (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_38/b4050068.htm?chan=technology_technology+index+page _top+stories) (another look in the future - article is dated September 17):

The Kindle launch could spark increased sales of e-book content, especially since users of the device will be able to shop for books and download them over its high-speed wireless connection, according to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission. Even though titles from Amazon's Mobipocket aren't well represented on Amazon's site, it has the largest selection of any e-book seller: 40,000 titles, compared with 18,000 at Sony Corp.'s (SNE ) online bookstore, Connect.

Amazon wouldn't confirm any plans for an e-book reader. "We do not comment on rumors or speculation," says Andrew Herdener, an Amazon spokesman. Some industry observers think Amazon will hold the price below that of the $299 Reader from Sony Electronics.

Amazon isn't shy about jumping into speculative ventures. It spent $201 million in the last quarter on a range of new technologies and announced an online payment service to compete with eBay's PayPal. Digital media delivery is another area that will require sustained investment to bear fruit.

HarryT
09-07-2007, 09:24 AM
Having to sync to my PC every time I want an update on a news story or to visit a website would be a deal killer for me. Much rather have it pushed right to the unit. It is what is so tremendous about the new iPod touch, content downloads directly to the unit. I do pretty much the same thing with audio books (audible.com) directly to my Blackberry. I listen to the Times every morning, no syncing involved. Pretty neat. I am concerned however what the subscription for the Kindle is going to cost me.

I'm curious what a hyperlinked newspaper would be like. Read a news story about the Taliban in Afganistan. Select the word Taliban and read the Wikipedia entry on them or some such thing. How about novels. See an obscure entry in the text and select it to read background data on the subject.

I'm curious what people could do with this technology.

Buy an iLiad and find out :). You can do all these things on that.

Lemurion
09-07-2007, 10:04 AM
I like the possibility that it may use mobipocket as that's a pretty decent format. Unfortunately the device itself looks overpriced and incredibly ugly. Having said that, I'm going to wait and see what happens with it in future. If they ever could get it down to $50 I'd be very interested despite the looks (though I'd want to be able to read my existing purchases on it).

Azayzel
09-07-2007, 10:47 AM
I'm quite content with the Sony Reader as it stands today, minus PDF support. Do we really need an eReader that forces DRM onto you; i.e., wireless that connects directly to Amazon and d/l's books w/o a PC? That's really all it amounts to, they're just trying to sucker people into the new platform w/ the promise of adding more features than what's currently available. Also, if the Kindle looks anything like the early prototypes we saw pics of before, it will be hard enough to give away, let alone sell for the price of an iTouch.

On the other hand, if the Kindle supports native PDF's with a screen larger than the Reader and adds color support, I'll be all for checking it out once a deal pops up where I can get one for a sub-$150 price (Hey, I picked up my first Reader for $150 + $50 in free books and my second was ~$3 + $50 in free books; so I think I can nitpick the price :P ). Now, I'm off to research the Kindle a bit more and see if I can find updated pics! :thumbsup:

andym
09-07-2007, 11:17 AM
Well, this is content you're talking about, not a device. You could do exactly the same things on the iLiad, or on the Sony/Cybook (though you would have to update through USB for these 2).
I read TechCrunch, Slashdot, Tech Dirt and BBC News on my Sony Reader every morning...

Hadrien -I'm curious about how you do that. When I tried downloading the BBC feed via FeedBooks I got the BBC's RSS feed but the feed only consists of a 'teaser' ie the first couple of sentences of the story. To read the whole story you have to go to their site. Have you fiound a way to do that so the whole story can be read offline?

nickbogaty
09-07-2007, 11:29 AM
Hello all,

I received a number of calls and emails yesterday in regard to the New York Times article on eBooks specific to Amazon's plans to implement open standards in the Kindle. People seemed to be alarmed by the below paragraph in the piece which reads:

"Some also complain about the fact that Amazon is using a proprietary e-book format from Mobipocket, a French company that Amazon bought in 2005, instead of supporting the open e-book standard backed by most major publishers and high-tech companies like Adobe. That means owners of other digital book devices, like the Sony Reader, will not be able to use books purchased on Amazon.com."

Amazon has been very (and maybe smartly) tight-lipped on their release plans for the Kindle and I don't have any special knowledge about development and version plans. However, in the development of OCF and OPS, the two specifications that make up the .epub standard, both Mobipocket and Amazon have expressed to me, the IDPF working groups responsible for the specs and other IDPF members as to their intention to implement .epub. I have every indication that they're going to do this. A clear sign of this is found in Mobipocket Reader 6.0 where there is an option to import OCF files which is the container part of .epub. This takes the OCF file, unzips it, and then converts to .mobi; completely automated. Reader 6.0 was released before OPS 2.0 (the markup part of .epub whose final member vote ends Monday), so I can only assume that their OPS implementation will come in the next version of their Reader software.

Again, I have no inside knowledge of Amazon's development plans, but it seems to me that Times quote might have been based on incorrect information.

Hope this helps,
Nick

--
Nick Bogaty
Executive Director
International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)

Hadrien
09-07-2007, 11:33 AM
Hadrien -I'm curious about how you do that. When I tried downloading the BBC feed via FeedBooks I got the BBC's RSS feed but the feed only consists of a 'teaser' ie the first couple of sentences of the story. To read the whole story you have to go to their site. Have you fiound a way to do that so the whole story can be read offline?

Oh their official feed is just one of those lame partial content feeds. But some people extract the full articles and repost these feeds as full content feeds. You could also DIY with tools such as Dapper.

In this newspaper for example, there's the full content of the BBC Tech articles: http://www.feedbooks.com/news/newspaper/1

Hadrien
09-07-2007, 11:36 AM
Hello all,

I received a number of calls and emails yesterday in regard to the New York Times article on eBooks specific to Amazon's plans to implement open standards in the Kindle. People seemed to be alarmed by the below paragraph in the piece which reads:

"Some also complain about the fact that Amazon is using a proprietary e-book format from Mobipocket, a French company that Amazon bought in 2005, instead of supporting the open e-book standard backed by most major publishers and high-tech companies like Adobe. That means owners of other digital book devices, like the Sony Reader, will not be able to use books purchased on Amazon.com."

Amazon has been very (and maybe smartly) tight-lipped on their release plans for the Kindle and I don't have any special knowledge about development and version plans. However, in the development of OCF and OPS, the two specifications that make up the .epub standard, both Mobipocket and Amazon have expressed to me, the IDPF working groups responsible for the specs and other IDPF members as to their intention to implement .epub. I have every indication that they're going to do this. A clear sign of this is found in Mobipocket Reader 6.0 where there is an option to import OCF files which is the container part of .epub. This takes the OCF file, unzips it, and then converts to .mobi; completely automated. Reader 6.0 was released before OPS 2.0 (the markup part of .epub whose final member vote ends Monday), so I can only assume that their OPS implementation will come in the next version of their Reader software.

Again, I have no inside knowledge of Amazon's development plans, but it seems to me that Times quote might have been based on incorrect information.

Hope this helps,
Nick

--
Nick Bogaty
Executive Director
International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)

This is fantastic news Nick, thank you for this information. So... We can expect Epub on the Sony Reader, on the iLiad using FBReader and on the Kindle too ? Great news for this format.

I'm glad we're working hard right now on Feedbooks and will support Epub as an output this month ;-)

NatCh
09-07-2007, 12:29 PM
W00T! W00T, I say! I don't much care if it gets (transparently) converted on load to something else, if .epub managed to become the de facto standard for e-book distribution, that'd effectively end e-babel too. You'd just download the .epub and save it, and let your reader process it as needed -- heck, that's effectively what 'regular' computers do with all files anyway, and it doesn't bother anything. :nice:

Thanks for the info Nick!


Regarding extra-U.S. distribution on the Kindle, I'd think it may be more likely than some might suppose. I mean, Amazon and Mobipocket already have distribution rights for books in multiple countries, so I'm guessing that the only real questions remaining would then be network compatibility with the wireless, and who gets the concession on the wireless. Surely those can't be that difficult? :shrug:

HarryT
09-07-2007, 12:45 PM
so I'm guessing that the only real questions remaining would then be network compatibility with the wireless, and who gets the concession on the wireless. Surely those can't be that difficult? :shrug:

If it's standard WiFi there's no issue - that's an international standard. If it's some other "custom" wireless system, that could be an issue - radio frequency allocations are completely different in the US and Europe. Remember years back there was a Palm device with some kind of radio capability? (Palm 7?) That was only ever sold in the US because its radio frequency wasn't licenced for that purpose in Europe.

jmorton
09-07-2007, 12:57 PM
Although plenty of us here have ereaders, I don't think any of these devices are going to really catch on until the price dips to $99. Right now, it looks like Sony will be the first one to that table. I sincerely hope that the Kindle looks nothing like the pictures of the prototype on the web. That is one ugly device.

All of these guys would do well to follow Apple's lead and offer them to students at discounts. Those poor kids have to schlep so many books. An ereader would be a great solution for Humanities class. I still get shivers when I think about that stack of books I had to purchase (many of which are now PD).

Jim

NatCh
09-07-2007, 01:23 PM
If it's standard WiFi there's no issue - that's an international standard.That's why I think it ought to be Wi-Fi, but I think EVDO was the last thing we heard. :shrug:

HarryT
09-07-2007, 01:32 PM
Thanks - I hadn't heard about that, so I've just read about it on Wiki. Shame if they do use it. I don't believe it'll work in Europe and presumably it'll be a subscription-based service too. You're right - WiFi would be a so much better choice.

NatCh
09-07-2007, 01:38 PM
I s'pose they could use the European equivalent of EVDO, probably just a chip or module switch to accomplish it. But WiFi would be ever so much less trouble for all concerned.

Maybe that's what they've been doing for the last year: converting it to WiFi ... and redesigning the enclosure. :grin:

Nate the great
09-07-2007, 03:13 PM
As of 2pm eastern, there are at least 39 stories about the Kindle that cite the NYTimes article as the only source of information. I, for one, do not trust the NYTimes to get the facts straight.

http://news.google.com/news?ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&tab=wn&q=amazon+kindle&btnG=Search+News

RalphTrickey
09-07-2007, 09:00 PM
I assume Amazon is going to buy capacity from existing cell phone providers, but I have no idea how this will be paid for (subscription, bundled in the price of the downloaded content, etcetera).
That's going to be the kicker for me. That and whether I can upload my own content as well as downloading theirs.

Studio717
09-07-2007, 10:27 PM
So the way that works is: I pay for EVDO so I can pay Amazon for books I can only read on their reader?

How many people would actually do that?

And, separate question: Would someone please explain to me about the Google Books thing? Quite a few Google Books in the public domain are available right now as PDF downloads. How is the link between the Kindle and Google Books different?

(Does anyone else have Doctor Who flashbacks with the name Kindle? I keep thinking of the Davison episode Kinda.)

flamaest
09-08-2007, 01:16 AM
I wonder how well this will sell...

http://www.mercurynews.com/businessheadlines/ci_6815033

Thanks,
Fabian.

Nate the great
09-08-2007, 01:19 AM
This is just another reprint of the NYTimes article.

NatCh
09-08-2007, 01:37 AM
Don't those "journalists" do any actual reporting on their own any more? :unafraid:

NatCh
09-08-2007, 01:42 AM
So the way that works is: I pay for EVDO so I can pay Amazon for books I can only read on their reader?

How many people would actually do that?Never underestimate the capacity for human beings to do dumb stuff. Particularly in large numbers. :shrug:

Seriously, though, that's not too frightfully different from any number of arrangements that lots of folks buy into now. It either is genuinely worth it to them or they never take the time to consider what it's costing them so they're in it whether it's worth it to them or not. :unafraid:

nekokami
09-08-2007, 02:41 AM
I think the popularity will come down to the same three factors as usual: variety of content, price, and ease of use. The direct connection to Amazon, while limiting, could be good for ease of use, but I don't think Mobipocket has enough content yet (and right now, you don't see Mobi ebooks from the regular Amazon site -- and the Mobi site isn't so easy to use). That leaves price -- Mobi prices aren't any worse than the rest of the market (or not much worse, anyway), but not really competitive with paper books, either. The price would have to come WAY down for anyone to be willing to pay US$400-500 up front for a single-purpose device. As in, practically free. But since EVDO will have its own cost, I don't think that's going to play out.

The only way I see this working is if they get a couple of major textbook publishers on board-- at greatly reduced costs. I just paid nearly US$70 for ONE textbook. If textbooks were something like US$10-20 on the Kindle, a full-time student in the US could recover their investment in the first year. But the only way I see the textbook publishers going in that direction is if the DRM is time-limited. :(

HarryT
09-08-2007, 03:41 AM
The price would have to come WAY down for anyone to be willing to pay US$400-500 up front for a single-purpose device.

What do you mean by "a single purpose device"? I paid a lot more than that for my Sony Reader, which is equally "single purpose"!

Azayzel
09-08-2007, 07:14 AM
The only way I see this working is if they get a couple of major textbook publishers on board-- at greatly reduced costs. I just paid nearly US$70 for ONE textbook. If textbooks were something like US$10-20 on the Kindle, a full-time student in the US could recover their investment in the first year. But the only way I see the textbook publishers going in that direction is if the DRM is time-limited. :(

A little OT, but I just read an article in a newspaper that detailed how Utah State University rented ther Biology textbooks to students at a substantial discount, $28.75 vs. $129.35 to purchase. Now that's a pretty darn good deal! I would have rented my books, because even when you try to sell them back the university bookstore would only give you a fraction of the cost back, and that was only if the book wasn't discontinued.

Renting eTextbooks would be a lot cheaper, they could publish in-house without any printing costs, and if they used some type of DRM-expiry system, they could simply have the books lock themselves a few weeks after the semester is over for people who choose not to unlock it at a higher price. :wink:

nekokami
09-08-2007, 10:12 AM
What do you mean by "a single purpose device"? I paid a lot more than that for my Sony Reader, which is equally "single purpose"!
Sorry, should have said "before most people will buy a single-purpose device." We bibliophiles are the exception, I think. ;)

HarryT, did you really pay more than that for your Reader? Are you counting VAT or customs fees or something?

nekokami
09-08-2007, 10:19 AM
Renting eTextbooks would be a lot cheaper, they could publish in-house without any printing costs, and if they used some type of DRM-expiry system, they could simply have the books lock themselves a few weeks after the semester is over for people who choose not to unlock it at a higher price. :wink:
I've actually seen this done, or attempted, anyway. One of the universities I worked at a couple of years ago offered this as an option. Looks like this is the same thing: http://www.coursesmart.com/ The example they show in the "tour" is still pretty pricey, but I guess the program is still in beta, too.

I personally prefer to keep my textbooks for future reference, but I know most students just sell them back.

HarryT
09-08-2007, 10:50 AM
Sorry, should have said "before most people will buy a single-purpose device." We bibliophiles are the exception, I think. ;)

HarryT, did you really pay more than that for your Reader? Are you counting VAT or customs fees or something?

Yes, I paid a total of $620 for my Reader. Bought it from eBay for $450, and the rest was shipping, import duty, and VAT.

Ravenflight
09-08-2007, 07:03 PM
Is that photo a true representation of what the Kindle is supposed to look like??? If so that is one of the ugliest pieces of consumer electronics I have ever seen! Not to mention unwieldly. Who is going to buy it? I want a reader that is about the size of a paperback and the weight and thickness of a magazine,easy to use with as few buttons as possible. Not some Frankenstein tablet with 49 buttons and a scrollwheel taking up half the device that looks like a nightmare to operate. If this is the Kindle, then Amazon should light a match to it, and buy or partner with a company with some design sense. I dont think Bookeen or Sony has anything to worry about.

TadW
09-09-2007, 01:00 PM
Is that photo a true representation of what the Kindle is supposed to look like???

It's called retro-design :grin2:

But don't worry, most likely this was just a dummy case used for the prototype. At least this is what the majority here believes.

Ravenflight
09-09-2007, 01:29 PM
It's called retro-design :grin2:

But don't worry, most likely this was just a dummy case used for the prototype. At least this is what the majority here believes.

Retro is right. It looks like a cheesy prop out of some 1960's scifi- Star Trek maybe- or Kubricks 2001- except all the props I've seen in those look better than this Amazon device. The Flintstones perhaps.

guguy
09-09-2007, 02:14 PM
Maybe amazon is gonna do just like apple and its iphone, launch it at
$400-$500 and break the price down to $300 for X-mas.

petermillard
09-09-2007, 06:18 PM
Maybe amazon is gonna do just like apple and its iphone, launch it at
$400-$500 and break the price down to $300 for X-mas.

Except the iPhone was/is a groundbreaking piece of industrial design (both in aesthetics and function) and Apple had hundreds of thousands of people (give or take - exact numbers are hard to come by...) queuing up to shell out ~$500 for it at launch. I may be wrong, but I can't see that many people queuing up for the Kindle at $400 (especially if it looks like a piece of 35 year-old chewed-up space trash) unless the feature set is compelling, and even at $300, I'd have my doubts.

Time will tell, I'm sure.

Pete.

JSWolf
09-09-2007, 06:25 PM
Maybe amazon is gonna do just like apple and its iphone, launch it at
$400-$500 and break the price down to $300 for X-mas.
Apple has pissed off LOTS of people and Apple's You can have $150 of Apple merchandise to make up for the $200 price drop is crap. It''s enough to say NEVER buy anything from Apple if that is how they treat initial buyers. If it was me, I'd want the $200 and not a lesser amount in credit that I don't want.

Ravenflight
09-09-2007, 07:58 PM
Apple has pissed off LOTS of people and Apple's You can have $150 of Apple merchandise to make up for the $200 price drop is crap. It''s enough to say NEVER buy anything from Apple if that is how they treat initial buyers. If it was me, I'd want the $200 and not a lesser amount in credit that I don't want.

Actually as an owner of the iPhone since day one I am very pleased that Apple is offering anything at all- I expected the price to drop even before I bought it- and never expected Apple to offer some rebate to initial buyers. Every premium phone I have ever bought has dropped rapidly in price- SO WHAT? What about the $500.00 Razor? I don't see everyone up in arms demanding rebates that were never promised when it dropped from $500.00 to 99.00 in less than a year. Should Motorola give all their initial buyers a 400.00 rebate? I could give many other examples, but Apple giving a price break to customers that bought a premium phone at the initial premium price is, I think, a first for the cell phone industry. However I don't see Motorola, Palm, Nokia et al jumping on the bandwagon to give back money to their customers.

NatCh
09-10-2007, 12:31 PM
Retro is right. It looks like a cheesy prop out of some 1960's scifi- Star Trek maybe- or Kubricks 2001- except all the props I've seen in those look better than this Amazon device. The Flintstones perhaps.Nope, original Battlestar Galactica, no question. :grin:

General consensus seems to be that it's probably an early mock-up for the FCC (who's site the pic came from), and that the released version will be less ... fugly.

Have you considered how hard the thing would be to pick up off a flat surface, like, say, a table? :zoiks:

Ravenflight
09-10-2007, 02:31 PM
Nope, original Battlestar Galactica, no question. :grin:

General consensus seems to be that it's probably an early mock-up for the FCC (who's site the pic came from), and that the released version will be less ... fugly.
Battlestar Galactica- yep you nailed it.

I don't buy the FCC explanation though. The purpose of submitting a device to the FCC is so they can verify it's doesn't emit too much RFI that will interfere with the functioning of other devices that use radio frequencies like TV's, radios, and cell phones. You can't submit a device for compliance and then release a radically different version. Any change you make to the device, the housing, the circuit board, the display, or even the orientation of the components, is going to change the radiation amount and pattern of RFI that the device emits. If this is the final mockup that they submitted to the FCC, then this is going to be pretty close to what the released version should look like. They might change the color, but I can't imagine any color that will make that thing attractive to the general public- much less convince them to part with real money for it. They could give it away and I for one wouldn't sign up for it.

NatCh
09-10-2007, 02:46 PM
Depends on what the case material is made of, I'd guess. I'm not an expert, nor particularly knowledgeable, in the area, but I didn't think that thermoplastic had that much affect on RF radiation. If that's not totally wrong, then they could change the case a fair amount and not bother anything.

But as I said, I don't claim any special knowledge here, so salt to taste. :nice:

RalphTrickey
09-10-2007, 03:49 PM
Thermoplastic has no effect on radiation. I don't know how much they can change the keyboard, etc. after submitting to the FCC.

Ravenflight
09-10-2007, 04:53 PM
Thermoplastic doesn't affect rfi by itself- true. But have you ever opened a plastic case and found the inside painted with a metalic silvery or copper paint? Ever wonder why a company would go to the expense and trouble to paint the inside of their device?

NatCh
09-10-2007, 04:54 PM
A point, but changing the outer shape of the casing wouldn't necessarily mean needing to change the inner shape. :grin:

tsgreer
09-10-2007, 06:14 PM
Is that photo a true representation of what the Kindle is supposed to look like??? If so that is one of the ugliest pieces of consumer electronics I have ever seen!

Ok, this is gonna sound really bad, but I sorta dig that retro sci-fi look. But I don't think that is what it's going to look like. They are just trying to throw the competition off.

But I like it. It has a Space: 1999 kinda vibe. :stupid:

RalphTrickey
09-10-2007, 06:40 PM
Thermoplastic doesn't affect rfi by itself- true. But have you ever opened a plastic case and found the inside painted with a metalic silvery or copper paint? Ever wonder why a company would go to the expense and trouble to paint the inside of their device?
No. I know electroncs. It's the same reason that the EVDO piece will probably be in a metal box.

Ravenflight
09-10-2007, 07:27 PM
Ok, this is gonna sound really bad, but I sorta dig that retro sci-fi look. But I don't think that is what it's going to look like. They are just trying to throw the competition off.

But I like it. It has a Space: 1999 kinda vibe. :stupid:

I just hope this is not the final design they're going with. I'd hate to see another poorly designed ebook reader fail. Especially one from a company with the influence of Amazon. They have the resources and connections to create a device that could be the ipod of books. Be a shame to see them blow it.

happyreader
09-12-2007, 10:43 PM
Well, Amazon did buy Mobipocket so who knows what to expect from them.

All I know is that if this is the final look of the device the owners are going to be in for some serious public ridicule.

JSWolf
09-13-2007, 12:06 AM
Well, Amazon did buy Mobipocket so who knows what to expect from them.

All I know is that if this is the final look of the device the owners are going to be in for some serious public ridicule.
it won't be any worse then someone walking around with a blutooth ear piece attached to the ear. That's rather silly looking.

Azayzel
09-13-2007, 12:39 AM
it won't be any worse then someone walking around with a blutooth ear piece attached to the ear. That's rather silly looking.

Lol! This is too funny, yet true! I get a kick out of seeing all those people constantly wearing their BT headsets for no apparent reason other than to attract attention to themselves. It also reminds me of the people who used to, and some still do, wear the wired headsets and walk around looking like they're talking to themselves. First time I saw someone doing this, I thought he was talking to me before I saw the wire. Come on, are you so busy you can't sit down or stand somewhere out of the way for the few minutes the phone call will take? Or better yet, take the 10 seconds that's needed to put the earpiece in? Even funnier is that it's not usually the stereo-typical geeks doing this either, but someone trying to *look* cool. :knife:

</rant>

RalphTrickey
09-13-2007, 01:32 AM
Well, Amazon did buy Mobipocket so who knows what to expect from them.

All I know is that if this is the final look of the device the owners are going to be in for some serious public ridicule.
Check out the manual. It's inside a leather book cover.
It still looks tacky, but better at least.

NatCh
09-13-2007, 12:51 PM
it won't be any worse then someone walking around with a blutooth ear piece attached to the ear. That's rather silly looking."Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated."

RalphTrickey
09-13-2007, 01:29 PM
"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated."

I've had that comment more than once:punk:. The problem is that there is no place else to put an earpiece.:o

NatCh
09-13-2007, 04:14 PM
I'm sure there are some clever souls who could suggest other places to put an earpiece, probably suggest an orientation too. :laughboom:

RalphTrickey
09-13-2007, 05:50 PM
I have though about pinning it to my left lapel and saying I was a 'Trekkie'...

NatCh
09-13-2007, 05:52 PM
Ooooo. That must be especially tempting to someone with your last name. :vulcan:

RalphTrickey
09-13-2007, 06:05 PM
:stupid: :2thumbsup

NatCh
09-13-2007, 06:34 PM
My wife's maiden name was "Smartt" -- if that were my last name, I'd have to name a son "Alec" so that his teachers would be warned from the moment they saw it on a roll sheet: "Smartt, Alec"

RalphTrickey
09-13-2007, 10:08 PM
My dad always wanted to give the the middle name 'Albert' just for the initials:freak:

NatCh
09-13-2007, 10:33 PM
I knew a gal in High School whose first name was Tabitha, with middle and last initials A and B respectively -- not only did she wear the inevitable nickname "Tab" she had a gold-plated soda can tab that she always wore as a charm necklace. :grin:

balandra
11-29-2008, 11:50 AM
Does anyone know what JFK Airport Information http://www.nyctourist.com/travel_jfk.htm stands for?:chinscratch:

pilotbob
11-29-2008, 11:53 AM
Does anyone know what JFK Airport Information http://www.nyctourist.com/travel_jfk.htm stands for?:chinscratch:

You mean what does "JFK" stand for? It is John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

BOb

HarryT
11-29-2008, 12:01 PM
I liked its previous name of "Idlewild" better. Always conjured up images of natural countryside in my mind.

JSWolf
12-09-2008, 03:36 AM
Why is an old thread being dreadged up for something that is so very off-topic? Come on, time to either close this thread or move it along back on track.

twiart
01-01-2009, 10:29 PM
Nokia 5800 is better than Kindle :p

twiart
01-01-2009, 11:06 PM
Nokia 5800 is better than Kindle :p

Patricia
01-03-2009, 10:31 PM
twiart, may I suggest that duplicate, off-topic posts are not helpful.
Should you wish to discuss the comparative merits of two devices, then start a thread in the appropriate forum section and provide some evidence, rather than mere assertion.