View Full Version : why so emotional about the kindle?


dugbug
11-19-2007, 08:07 PM
There was a mild displeasure aimed at the Sony because of DRM (and a little about the mac platform absense), but this is way off the meter.

A moderator writes an article stating it may be the worst thing to happen to the ebook nation, Europeans are upset gen 1 cannot be used there (that would upset me too), people are screaming DRM, etc.

-d

Barcey
11-19-2007, 08:11 PM
High expectations, underwhelming delivery.

Alisa
11-19-2007, 08:31 PM
There was a mild displeasure aimed at the Sony because of DRM (and a little about the mac platform absense), but this is way off the meter.

A moderator writes an article stating it may be the worst thing to happen to the ebook nation, Europeans are upset gen 1 cannot be used there (that would upset me too), people are screaming DRM, etc.

-d

What's amazing me is the hate on the Amazon reviews. Almost 200 reviews now and hardly any of them have actually used the product. There are tons of one star reviews that don't even seem to grasp the point. So many of them are the typical Engadget "what do you mean it doesn't even have color?" variety.

Alisa
11-19-2007, 08:34 PM
High expectations, underwhelming delivery.

To me this thing was simultaneously impressive and disappointing. The features look great. Good enough to make me look past the aesthetics. It's actually starting to grow on me. It looked bigger and clunkier in the initial pictures because you didn't see it in context. However I am still rather peeved about the .azw thing. If they had stuck with .mobi, even DRM-ed .mobi, and let non-Kindle-owners buy them, I'd be way more positive about the whole project.

yvanleterrible
11-19-2007, 08:39 PM
There is always a lot of pain, cries and shouts of joy following any delivery. :grin2:

RWood
11-19-2007, 08:40 PM
Nate is due to receive his tomorrow so let's wait and read his review. He has used the Sony PRS-500 for a while and created quite a number of books for it. I for one am looking forward to his views.

DaleDe
11-19-2007, 08:40 PM
To me this thing was simultaneously impressive and disappointing. The features look great. Good enough to make me look past the aesthetics. It's actually starting to grow on me. It looked bigger and clunkier in the initial pictures because you didn't see it in context. However I am still rather peeved about the .azw thing. If they had stuck with .mobi, even DRM-ed .mobi, and let non-Kindle-owners buy them, I'd be way more positive about the whole project.

.mobi works fine on the unit. I think the DRM issue was because of the launch of $10 books. They lose money on at least some of these I am sure and they want a cushion of the price of the Kindle to soften the blow. Otherwise everybody would buy them for devices that Amazon didn't profit from. I suspect the design is such that they can easily switch to mobi DRM in the future if they decide to without losing anything they have now or any already purchased books. I think they are trying to drive the price of eBooks down and if they succeed we will all benefit.

Dale

Alisa
11-19-2007, 08:44 PM
.mobi works fine on the unit. I think the DRM issue was because of the launch of $10 books. They lose money on at least some of these I am sure and they want a cushion of the price of the Kindle to soften the blow. Otherwise everybody would buy them for devices that Amazon didn't profit from. I suspect the design is such that they can easily switch to mobi DRM in the future if they decide to without losing anything they have now or any already purchased books. I think they are trying to drive the price of eBooks down and if they succeed we will all benefit.

Dale

I'm aware the .mobi works on the unit. I was referring to book sales on Amazon. I'm thinking about all those folks with mobile devices and Cybooks now that want to buy .mobi content and really thought they would be getting a bunch of new titles when Kindle launched. I really doubt Amazon's making much on the hardware if anything at all. It's all about the content. That's why I'm surprised they're not trying to get as many people into the content stream as possible.

DaleDe
11-19-2007, 09:10 PM
I'm aware the .mobi works on the unit. I was referring to book sales on Amazon. I'm thinking about all those folks with mobile devices and Cybooks now that want to buy .mobi content and really thought they would be getting a bunch of new titles when Kindle launched. I really doubt Amazon's making much on the hardware if anything at all. It's all about the content. That's why I'm surprised they're not trying to get as many people into the content stream as possible.

Actually almost none of the book vendors have exclusive agreements with Amazon so I would expect that once the ice is broken and the source files for Kindle and Mobi are exactly the same we will see a sudden increase in the availability of mobi books but not at the lose leader price. Be patient, there is bound to be fallout and much of it is good for the industry.

Kindle on the other hand will be able to demonstrate increased sales of eBooks and hopefully drive the prices down from the publishers.

Dale

da_jane
11-19-2007, 09:31 PM
Here's my reasons that I am passionate about the Kindle.

1. Amazon, a business that started out and continues today, provides book lover fulfillment. Therefore if anyone could get the Kindle right would be Amazon and Jeff Bezos, a purported book lover himself.

2. Amazon had 3 years and the benefit of everyone else's mistakes to open up the ebook platform to invite people in, rather than further confusing the issue with a superproprietary format that is tied to one device.

3. Jeff Bezos is on record for saying that DRM free music is the wave of the future. If Bezos and Amazon truly is following the iPod/iTunes model, why shift toward more DRM rather than away from DRM. Amazon assumes that either you don't have any pre-existing purchases or that you are willing to repurchase them.

4. Bezos and Amazon appear to be arrogantly ignoring the consumer. Since the very inception of the pictures and details of the Kindle on the internet, we have been crying out for a design change. Design is incredibly important and Amazon's refusal to acknowledge the consumer opinion is simply a negative sign.

5. If the Kindle fails, then the media and those with voices louder than ours will declare ebooks are dead. Given the investments that major publishers like S&S, HarperCollins, etc. have made in digitizing their backlists, I don't think ebooks are going away, but I wanted to see the Kindle actually fire us up rather than drag us down.

I would have been the first in line to buy the Kindle if it had been a) a better design and b) allowed for me to read DRM'ed mobipockets.

I think the passionate voices are those who really longed for Amazon to get it right and now we are really disappointed.

RWood
11-19-2007, 10:07 PM
Here's my reasons that I am passionate about the Kindle. Original comments are in italic.

1. Amazon, a business that started out and continues today, provides book lover fulfillment. Therefore if anyone could get the Kindle right would be Amazon and Jeff Bezos, a purported book lover himself.

Until we use the unit we are not sure of how well it works in the hand. When I use my Sony I see the screen and the rest of the world fades away. Perhaps after we hold one and use it for a while (walk a mile in its shoes) we will have a better impression of the unit.

2. Amazon had 3 years and the benefit of everyone else's mistakes to open up the ebook platform to invite people in, rather than further confusing the issue with a superproprietary format that is tied to one device.

And in that 3 year period they overcame most of the problems that plagued the other readers. The 88,000 ebooks are a massive increase over what we have seen elsewhere. Consider that Sony launched with ~10,000 books. As for the DRM issue, it is most likely the only way that they could get the publishers to sign on at this time. Amazon is in the business of selling books, this way they don't have to split the profits with other parties. You can still buy material at Fictionwise (for example) in unprotected PRC files and load them. They have over 6,000 books in unprotected "multiformat" that works on almost every reader ever made.

3. Jeff Bezos is on record for saying that DRM free music is the wave of the future. If Bezos and Amazon truly is following the iPod/iTunes model, why shift toward more DRM rather than away from DRM. Amazon assumes that either you don't have any pre-existing purchases or that you are willing to repurchase them.

Unlike music, most people do not reread a book. I very, very seldom reread a book. Reference books are used over and over but that is not what I intended to read on the Sony and I have held to that. Publishers are worried that someone will snatch their content and sling it over the dark net. DRM is a way to launch the product and get it in the hands of many people. I doubt that most of the people buying the unit will care one way or another about DRM.

4. Bezos and Amazon appear to be arrogantly ignoring the consumer. Since the very inception of the pictures and details of the Kindle on the internet, we have been crying out for a design change. Design is incredibly important and Amazon's refusal to acknowledge the consumer opinion is simply a negative sign.

So it doesn't look like an iPod or an iPhone. So some think the Sony or the Gen3 is sexier. Heck, the Apple ][ looked a lot sexier than the original IBM PC but it got clobbered in the sales department. They did listen to the consumer -- the computer interface and download issues are gone. It is a single piece with a clean interface and a direct link to Amazon for new books. My 85 year old Mother-in-law could use it. I fear if she tried to buy a book through Sony.

5. If the Kindle fails, then the media and those with voices louder than ours will declare ebooks are dead. Given the investments that major publishers like S&S, HarperCollins, etc. have made in digitizing their backlists, I don't think ebooks are going away, but I wanted to see the Kindle actually fire us up rather than drag us down.

I agree. It is as close as anyone has come to creating a toaster for reading books.

I would have been the first in line to buy the Kindle if it had been a) a better design and b) allowed for me to read DRM'ed mobipockets.

I think the passionate voices are those who really longed for Amazon to get it right and now we are really disappointed.

The jury is still out and will be out for a while. It seems that Amazon sold out the first batch and is still taking orders for more.

tsgreer
11-19-2007, 11:01 PM
I for one don't think the device is ugly, but I realize lots of people do. Which sorta puzzles me, I mean, if they have a keyboard on this thing, what else could they do with the design? Blackberrys are ugly too, but I don't hear those complaints about them.

Besides, I have a Sony Reader and if you had a keyboard attached to the bottom if it, it would basically look like the Amazon Kindle. PLUS a lot of people complained about the "page" buttons on the Sony Reader, and the Kindle's placement of them seems to be more logical.

Also on the Amazon comments section, it appeared the that many of the negative people were the "but you can't curl up with it by the fire unless it's a paper book" and the "but I miss the smell and history of the books" people.

I also think that for what it does right out of the box, the Kindle is pretty good so far. They have plenty of time to tweak things such as DRM and whatnot for the future. If you read the newsweek article, Jeff Bezos seemed really passionate about it, so I am assuming they will stick with it.

Besides, Sony has a DRM format too. So I don't view this as all that different except that non-DRM'd .mobi files are more numerous than non-DRM'd .lrf files which

I am surprised and somewhat disappointed that DRM'd .mobi files don't work on it but that is something they can change in the future. Of course, I say all of this but I won't have one in my hand until tomorrow--I may end up hating it or something after playing with it for a bit...:)

Alisa
11-19-2007, 11:03 PM
In regards to the looks, I was just listening to Bezos on All Things Considered and he was saying that it was beautiful and I did get the feeling he meant it. He blamed the initial bashes on blogs on the bad FCC photo. I will give it to him that it does look better than the initial photo but I think maybe he just has questionable taste. Or maybe he got too wrapped up in the idea of making it "disappear" which made him cling to that sterile white color. I do think a different color and case material would actually make this thing much more attractive. I think bibliophiles would've actually appreciated a warmer look and feel. I wouldn't want to curl up with an iPhone either.

tsgreer
11-19-2007, 11:11 PM
I do think a different color and case material would actually make this thing much more attractive. I think bibliophiles would've actually appreciated a warmer look and feel. I wouldn't want to curl up with an iPhone either.

I agree. I guessed the color pretty well in my earlier mock-ups though didn't I?!? :)

I'm not real fond of the white. I think a deep reddish brown color--um not ugly, but a sorta deep leatherish starbucks kinda feel would look better. Also I think the contrast of the screen would look a lot better if the case material were darker.

da_jane
11-19-2007, 11:15 PM
RWood - I live in the romance genre world and they keep books. Lots of them. And re-read them. The cover article for the PW for December is about romances and the first quote is from a bookseller of romances that says her readers keep their books.

I have hundreds of ebooks and I don't want to be tied to one device. Bezos knows that is what consumers want for music and I argue that it is no different from booklovers.

Plus, I bought Adobe books from Amazon years ago and that content was deleted when it decided to no longer support the digital movement. If the Kindle fails, will users suffer the same loss?

Alisa
11-19-2007, 11:16 PM
I'd love a deep brown (very bookish) or dark gray, maybe with more of a brushed finish. A lot of us bookish types love a bit of retro feel. This is just the wrong retro.

JSWolf
11-19-2007, 11:19 PM
My guess is azw format is mobi with the Kindle's PID embedded into it. And the Kindle doesn't allow us to get the PID from the device. If that is true, then it makes sense why Amazon bought Mobipocket. They could be using the Mobi format in disguise or the Mobi format with a few tweaks to it.

JSWolf
11-19-2007, 11:21 PM
RWood - I live in the romance genre world and they keep books. Lots of them. And re-read them. The cover article for the PW for December is about romances and the first quote is from a bookseller of romances that says her readers keep their books.

I have hundreds of ebooks and I don't want to be tied to one device. Bezos knows that is what consumers want for music and I argue that it is no different from booklovers.

Plus, I bought Adobe books from Amazon years ago and that content was deleted when it decided to no longer support the digital movement. If the Kindle fails, will users suffer the same loss?
The best way to support a failed device in that case would be to allow users to download the content via their computer to store it locally. Then update the firmware to support Mobipocket DRM. Then even if it doesn't work, you can still use it as a an ebook reader to read current content and be able to keep the content you've already paid for.

afiggatt
11-19-2007, 11:34 PM
What's amazing me is the hate on the Amazon reviews. Almost 200 reviews now and hardly any of them have actually used the product. There are tons of one star reviews that don't even seem to grasp the point. So many of them are the typical Engadget "what do you mean it doesn't even have color?" variety.
To be fair, there have been many negative comments on-line about the Sony Reader because it lacks color, does not have a backlight, or the screen flashes when changing pages. I think most of the negative comments come from people who have never seen the EInk display or if they have, only looked at it briefly and think it should be like an LCD display. A lot of people, including many reviewers for magazines or websites, have not yet grasped the concept of a reader which is dedicated to reading, lasts for days on a single charge, and is not a PDA or tablet PC.

OTOH, a good chunk of the negative Amazon reviews are people piling on because of the high profile launch.

Alexander Turcic
11-20-2007, 03:21 AM
There was a mild displeasure aimed at the Sony because of DRM (and a little about the mac platform absense), but this is way off the meter.

A moderator writes an article stating it may be the worst thing to happen to the ebook nation, Europeans are upset gen 1 cannot be used there (that would upset me too), people are screaming DRM, etc.

-d

I think Sony faced the same "critical observance" before the first Reader devices were actually shipped (heck, their PR department even launched a Q&A with us to calm down the situation). I wouldn't take it too serious... everyone has his or her own opinion about where we are at with e-books today, and only time will tell (and the first lucky MobileReaders to receive the Kindle these days) if the Kindle is a success story or not. :happydance:

HarryT
11-20-2007, 03:47 AM
My guess is azw format is mobi with the Kindle's PID embedded into it. And the Kindle doesn't allow us to get the PID from the device. If that is true, then it makes sense why Amazon bought Mobipocket. They could be using the Mobi format in disguise or the Mobi format with a few tweaks to it.

That's my bet too. If that is the case, and there's a way to get at the Kindle's PID, that would allow Kindle owners to purchase books from other Mobi stores.

xristy
11-20-2007, 07:46 AM
I am an iLiad user and travel quite a bit and live much of the year in Nepal and the rest of the time in the US. I purchased an iLiad because it is relatively open, has support for PDF as well as mobi and has WiFi and tablet interface for note taking - taking notes in a book or journal article is a common thing for users of print technology to do. The size, resolution and clarity of display were also major considerations as is the fact that I can put a CF card holding 8GB of papers and books on it.

From the specs that have been published the Kindle doesn't approach any of these features and will apparently be pretty much in line with the current Sony offering technically and provide a massive DRM lock-in - this is my real gripe. Not only is the device and delivery technology of no use to me outside the US but the proprietary "it's mine; all mine" attitude of the DRM strategy and exclusionary practices by the 600 pound gorilla of book distribution means that ebooks will wither and die as a creative force and turn into lowest common denominator money making for Bezos.

Rather than taking an attitude of "how can our company offer a quality product and service that returns a profit" it would seem that the attitude is more like "how can we ensure that we make the most money possible while appearing to offer a service to the hapless consumer."

Most of the world isn't connected sufficiently to make EVDO work effectively and what is needed is a way to get libraries of books to people around the planet not just satisfy some Ameri-centric view of life.

The 90K or so books in the Amazon Kindle catalog should be of benefit to people beyond the borders of the US and on any device that a user may have.

So my gripes are many and I think based in actual experience with eBooks and usage scenarios that are thwarted - not just not supported - by Amazon's Kindle adventure.

I'd like to know why it is that people on this forum see the Kindle as interesting.

edsohsmith
11-20-2007, 08:07 AM
A reason that people are so passionate about the Kindle offering is because of the bookstore not the device. Upon entering the ebook arena, Amazon immediately becomes the largest ebook seller in the world. If you do not own a Sony Reader, then the Sonny connect bookstore is irrelevant. This is not true of the Amazon bookstore. This is what makes Amazon's decision to ignore epub standards and to go with another proprietary DRM format tied to a single device so disappointing. Not unexpected, but disapointing.

HarryT
11-20-2007, 08:16 AM
Most of the world isn't connected sufficiently to make EVDO work effectively

No, most of the world uses the internationally standard GSM technology for its phone networks, not the proprietory CDMA technology of EVDO. Many developing nations are jumping fixed-line networks altogether and going straight to GSM for their phone systems. Much of the "third world" has pretty good GSM coverage.

I'd like to know why it is that people on this forum see the Kindle as interesting.

It is undoubtedly interesting. Something can be interesting without being desirable.

HarryT
11-20-2007, 08:17 AM
Upon entering the ebook arena, Amazon immediately becomes the largest ebook seller in the world.

Er, Amazon were already the largest ebook seller in the world, due to their ownership of MobiPocket.

slayda
11-20-2007, 08:40 AM
Rather than taking an attitude of "how can our company offer a quality product and service that returns a profit" it would seem that the attitude is more like "how can we ensure that we make the most money possible while appearing to offer a service to the hapless consumer."

Very on point!


I'd like to know why it is that people on this forum see the Kindle as interesting.

Because it's the new ebook reader on the block.

xristy
11-20-2007, 09:47 AM
Originally Posted by Harry T
Originally Posted by xristy
Most of the world isn't connected sufficiently to make EVDO work effectively
No, most of the world uses the internationally standard GSM technology for its phone networks, not the proprietory CDMA technology of EVDO. Many developing nations are jumping fixed-line networks altogether and going straight to GSM for their phone systems. Much of the "third world" has pretty good GSM coverage.


I was focusing on EVDO since there's another thread where somebody listed a bunch of places like Rwanda that have some sort of EVDO service. My point was that most such places have limited connectivity to the internet of the developed world. Here in Nepal I am submitting via EDGE service which is pretty decent at about 128Kbps but costs around $0.08US/MB which starts getting expensive if you visit many modern websites and is outrageous if you want to download an audiobook or an OS update (Mac OS X 10.5.1 is 110MB = $8US to update the OS).

HarryT
11-20-2007, 10:22 AM
Here in Nepal I am submitting via EDGE service which is pretty decent at about 128Kbps but costs around $0.08US/MB which starts getting expensive if you visit many modern websites and is outrageous if you want to download an audiobook or an OS update (Mac OS X 10.5.1 is 110MB = $8US to update the OS).

But that's a perfect example of what I was saying. There are relatively few places in the world more remote than Nepal, and yet you have EDGE - ie GSM technology. At 8c/MB that would be 3 or 4c for the typical eBook, which is peanuts by anyone's standards.

edsohsmith
11-20-2007, 12:20 PM
Er, Amazon were already the largest ebook seller in the world, due to their ownership of MobiPocket.

Then now Amazon owns the two largest ebookstores in the world, each with their own incompatible DRM. Terrible.

zartemis
11-20-2007, 12:26 PM
Well I really got a bum deal from Amazon. I ordered well before Noon with overnight shipping while it was still in stock. I watched as hours later it went out of stock on the site and delivery was pushed back to Nov 21 and then Nov 28. All the while my order was listed with an expected delivery of Nov 20th (today). Wake up today and it has not shipped and has a revised delivery of Nov 30th.

I may cancel. I don't like being treated unfairly -- ordering early and then being delivered way after everyone else just doesn't make any sense.

Greg G
11-20-2007, 12:38 PM
A reason that people are so passionate about the Kindle offering is because of the bookstore not the device. Upon entering the ebook arena, Amazon immediately becomes the largest ebook seller in the world. If you do not own a Sony Reader, then the Sonny connect bookstore is irrelevant. This is not true of the Amazon bookstore. This is what makes Amazon's decision to ignore epub standards and to go with another proprietary DRM format tied to a single device so disappointing. Not unexpected, but disapointing.

I agree. I was hoping for the epub standard and an extension to the Sony Reader that would allow me to purchase books from Amazon for my Sony Reader 505. I want to be able to jump to the next cool reader without leaving my book collection behind. You would think that Amazon would be interested in selling their e-books to Sony Reader users. I suspect that the problem is more with the publishers need to protect their content than Sony and Amazon wanting to lock people into their stores. I still hope that ebup makes it to prime time.

Zoot
11-20-2007, 02:14 PM
Well I really got a bum deal from Amazon. I ordered well before Noon with overnight shipping while it was still in stock.
You have my sympathy as I know how painful that sort of thing is.

But, he who hesitates is backordered :D

Z.

tsgreer
11-20-2007, 02:37 PM
Well I really got a bum deal from Amazon. I ordered well before Noon with overnight shipping while it was still in stock.

Oh wow, that does suck. Sorry that happened to you. I thought that would happen with me because it took forever to get the shipping confirmation email. But mine is out for delivery so I get in a few hours :pray:

Did you pay for overnight shipping? Maybe they can at least refund the shipping charge--you have a valid argument for it

HarryT
11-20-2007, 02:44 PM
Then now Amazon owns the two largest ebookstores in the world, each with their own incompatible DRM. Terrible.

No, they both use the same DRM. Kindle files are Mobipocket files. They just have a different extension.

zartemis
11-20-2007, 02:56 PM
Oh wow, that does suck. Sorry that happened to you. I thought that would happen with me because it took forever to get the shipping confirmation email. But mine is out for delivery so I get in a few hours :pray:

Did you pay for overnight shipping? Maybe they can at least refund the shipping charge--you have a valid argument for it

Yeah, I'm sure they will refund overnight shipping. The part that really bites is the fact that instead of just bumping me to the next available shipping date (Nov 21), they put me at the END of the line, behind people who ordered after me! Heck, the next shipping date is currently the 28th, and yet even with overnight shipping I'm listed as not getting it until the 30th. Very poor treatment.

I'd be sympathetic if they said they made a mistake and listed it in stock even when they didn't have any more (maybe they miscounted or some of them were damaged), and were instead shipping it in the next batch, but to bump me way to the end of the line? It's really poor service. I've gotten no response to my question to them asking why.

edsohsmith
11-20-2007, 03:01 PM
No, they both use the same DRM. Kindle files are Mobipocket files. They just have a different extension.

Correct me if I am wrong, you cannot read your old DRM'd Mobipocket books on the Kindle and cannot read Kindle files on older Mobipocket readers. Functionally this is a new DRM.

AnemicOak
11-20-2007, 03:06 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, you cannot read your old DRM'd Mobipocket books on the Kindle and cannot read Kindle files on older Mobipocket readers. Functionally this is a new DRM.

No, you're right. There may be many similarities between .mobi & .azw files, but for all practical purposes they are different files.

HarryT
11-20-2007, 03:22 PM
No, you're right. There may be many similarities between .mobi & .azw files, but for all practical purposes they are different files.

Nope, Kindle files are MobiPocket files. Rename a Kindle ".azw" file to ".prc" or ".mobi" and load it into MobiPocket Reader. It will happily show you the cover of the book, and tell you that it's not registered to your device. ie it recognises it as a MobiPocket file.

I agree with you that the practical effect of it is that you cannot currently read previously-purchased Mobi content on the Kindle, but that's (probably) simply because you don't know the Kindle's PID. If someone finds a way to prize the PID out of the Kindle, you'd (probably) to able to enter that PID at the bookstores where you'd previously bought Mobi books and download new versions that the Kindle would read.

All the indications are that the Kindle uses exactly the same Mobi DRM as any other Mobi store does - it just hides the device PID from you and does it all automatically.

AnemicOak
11-20-2007, 03:26 PM
It doesn't matter how close they are if they don't work interchangeably they're effectively different IMO.

Nate tried the PID thing @ Fictonwise, it's a no go (it shows up in Mobi's software with a PID)...
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16322

Nate the great
11-20-2007, 04:13 PM
It doesn't matter how close they are if they don't work interchangeably they're effectively different IMO.

Nate tried the PID thing @ Fictonwise, it's a no go (it shows up in Mobi's software with a PID)...
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16322

I bet that the main difference is a few bytes in the file. Wait a week. Someone will release a hack to get around it.

bingle
11-20-2007, 06:37 PM
In regards to the looks, I was just listening to Bezos on All Things Considered and he was saying that it was beautiful and I did get the feeling he meant it.


Heh, I was listening to the same show. I laughed when he said that. The quote was something like, "You've taken a beating in the blogs about the aesthetics, what do you say about that?" And he said, "Oh, it's beautiful!" He really did sound totally sincere about it, but having seen all the pictures and heard a lot of comments, I couldn't help but chuckle.

tcv
11-20-2007, 06:58 PM
Of course he would! What's he supposed to say, "Well, I really wanted something different but, you know, that's ME!"

JSWolf
11-20-2007, 07:06 PM
Let's say you have 50 ebooks on your Kindle, how easy is it to find one?

I had a thought on the AZW books. Maybe they are mostly Mobi format books and books without a PID are the same. Maybe they've just flipped a few bits so even if you manage to get the PID you cannot do anything with it as mobi with PID and AZW with PID are not the same. This is all 100% speculation based on Nate's testing.

Alisa
11-20-2007, 07:56 PM
Of course he would! What's he supposed to say, "Well, I really wanted something different but, you know, that's ME!"

Oh I would expect him to say that, too, but either he's a really good liar or he sincerely thinks it's beautiful. It was the tone of his voice. He really did sound like he was in love with the way it looks. He wasn't really effusive about it or anything, but he sounded like he genuinely was fond of it.

ischeriad
11-20-2007, 10:02 PM
I feel so lost. Can't you all please stop complaining about the design? Else I have to stop reading MR for a week or two, until everybody and his dog has got a kindle and has accoustomed to the look. I hope then discussion focuses on the more important things, like extracting the presumed PID, porting a pdf viewer, painting it black, or getting a terminal and vim onto it.

Actually, continue to complain if you have to, but put vim on that lovely designd device :grin2:.

mrsp
11-21-2007, 01:10 AM
No, most of the world uses the internationally standard GSM technology for its phone networks, not the proprietory CDMA technology of EVDO. Many developing nations are jumping fixed-line networks altogether and going straight to GSM for their phone systems. Much of the "third world" has pretty good GSM coverage.



Slightly off topic...

Here in Australia, CDMA is being switched off I think at the start of 2008. I just tried to google EVDO to see what it actually is and by the sounds of it, its less advanced than our next G network because people who were on EVDO got upgraded to next G. Next G is a highspeed broadband wireless network and one of the promo ads features Dustin Hoffman losing service on his cell phone and being told by an Australian girl that it would never happen in Australia (very contentious and they got pinged for misleading advertising).

Point is, Kindle's US-centric focus is old technology - I think but am not sure?? We also have GPRS over GSM but this is regarded as inferior to the next G (although its what my hiptop uses and is nice and cheap).

If the kindle was available here, I would buy it even with the usuage restrictions because it does everything I want my reader to do - books, newspapers and magazines and there wherever and whenever I want them.

If the device itself in terms of the hardware like the screen, lasted for 3 to 5 years without wearing out, it probably wouldn't matter to me that my books couldn't go with me as I rarely reread them. And the fact that its not available to me has me far far more disappointed and thanks to bookeen's euro-centric price gouging I've been pretty disappointed with the ebook world lately...

Alisa
11-21-2007, 01:28 AM
I really hope they start offering a region-neutral WiFi option soon. I understand why they went with EVDO for a US launch. Folks don't seem to want to retire that standard here. I was on a GSM network here for years and had so many coverage issues I actually went back to a CDMA provider for the time being. Irksome as that may be to my techie heart I figure it at least has another 5-10 years here before it goes the way of the dodo and that's probably less time than I shall have this phone (sad as that may be). If they did the hardware right, a network hardware switch to WiFi shouldn't be a difficult change and they wouldn't have to get it through numerous regulatory bodies and partnerships to do multiple launches. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

But it raises an interesting question to me: Is this thing RoHS compliant?

drgnbear
11-21-2007, 02:12 AM
I ordered one on release day. I didn't expect to but the darn thing was just too sweet. I wish I had waited to buy my 505 but at least I will have something to read the Sony files I bought. I hope one device becomes the defacto standard soon I am sick of re-buying books every time a new device comes out.

As for the Aesthetics I love it. I didn't love the FCC pics but seeing the video and seeing it being used I changed my mind.

resistor
11-21-2007, 02:30 AM
Point is, Kindle's US-centric focus is old technology - I think but am not sure?? We also have GPRS over GSM but this is regarded as inferior to the next G (although its what my hiptop uses and is nice and cheap).

That's not really true. Here's a brief overview of cellular technology:

1G: Purely analog. Useable for data only as a dial-up modem.

2G:
GSM - Widely deployed in most countries with cellular infrastructure.
CDMA - Widely deployed in the US, but not elsewhere.

Neither GSM nor CDMA is strictly better than the other. Wikipedia has a good overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_mobile_phone_standards). In general, GSM is more flexible and open, while CDMA has better capacity and scalability.

GSM Data: GPRS
CDMA Data: 1xRTT
Both GPRS and 1xRTT offer data speeds (usually) higher than dial-up, depending on the variation of each that your provider and your phone uses.

3G (high-speed data):
GSM: HSDPA/HSUPA
CDMA: EVDO

The voice components are called UMTS and CDMA2000 respectively.

3G technology builds on 2G to offer broadband-level data rates. Generally speaking, the throughput on these networks peak around the speed of a low- to mid-range DSL or cable line.

4G (HIGH high-speed data):
GSM: LTE
CDMA: UMB

4G technology is not yet widely deployed anywhere, but (at least in theory) offers bandwidth well in excess of normal broadband speeds. How well it will deliver on that in practice remains to be seen.



Now, returning to your point: NextG is actually not a change of generation. They're just switching from the CDMA family to the GSM family, without changing generations. UMTS and CDMA2000 simply have different things that each is better at. UMTS is generally better in hilly terrain, while CDMA2000 generally has fewer dropped calls under "normal" conditions, etc.

Any claims that "NextG" (and, in fact, the name itself) is better is purely marketing spin.

resistor
11-21-2007, 03:03 AM
Sorry. Don't know how that happened. I just used to "quote" button. :(

mrsp
11-21-2007, 03:33 AM
Any claims that "NextG" (and, in fact, the name itself) is better is purely marketing spin.


Hey thanks Resistor for explaining it all - I knew I probably didn't have it quite right.

The phone company in question is much better at spin than they are at providing either good prices or good service and our regulators have had at them over some aspects of their marketing so what you say doesn't surprise me at all.

I guess for Amazon to negotiate the carrier contracts outside the US is probably a big hurdle just like I suspect local copyright laws and distribution deals etc make it hard to negotiate with publishers for ebooks outside the US. Its a bit like iTunes in Australia where you cannot get movies even though Apple actually advertise iPods with pictures of Pirates of the Carribean on the box - this is my husband's favourite movie(s) and being unable to get them from iTunes has really put him off the lovely iPod I got him for his birthday (luckily for me :D)

And don't even get me started on the control that the local tv networks exert on TV shows. Its turned a lot of people to piracy just so they can get the content that they want to view. Its not available legally except if and when the networks choose to broadcast it (and they axed my favourite show 3 episodes into the new season - cannot publicly admit which show :o) or if you shell out for DVDs and I'm pretty sure ripping them is against the rules too.

Alexander Turcic
11-21-2007, 04:35 AM
Sorry. Don't know how that happened. I just used to "quote" button. :(

No worries, seems like you hit quote twice somewhere. I fixed the quote contribution :cool:

DaleDe
11-21-2007, 10:06 AM
That's not really true. Here's a brief overview of cellular technology:

1G: Purely analog. Useable for data only as a dial-up modem.

2G:
GSM - Widely deployed in most countries with cellular infrastructure.
CDMA - Widely deployed in the US, but not elsewhere.

Neither GSM nor CDMA is strictly better than the other. Wikipedia has a good overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_mobile_phone_standards). In general, GSM is more flexible and open, while CDMA has better capacity and scalability.

GSM Data: GPRS
CDMA Data: 1xRTT
Both GPRS and 1xRTT offer data speeds (usually) higher than dial-up, depending on the variation of each that your provider and your phone uses.

3G (high-speed data):
GSM: HSDPA/HSUPA
CDMA: EVDO

The voice components are called UMTS and CDMA2000 respectively.

3G technology builds on 2G to offer broadband-level data rates. Generally speaking, the throughput on these networks peak around the speed of a low- to mid-range DSL or cable line.

4G (HIGH high-speed data):
GSM: LTE
CDMA: UMB

4G technology is not yet widely deployed anywhere, but (at least in theory) offers bandwidth well in excess of normal broadband speeds. How well it will deliver on that in practice remains to be seen.



Now, returning to your point: NextG is actually not a change of generation. They're just switching from the CDMA family to the GSM family, without changing generations. UMTS and CDMA2000 simply have different things that each is better at. UMTS is generally better in hilly terrain, while CDMA2000 generally has fewer dropped calls under "normal" conditions, etc.

Any claims that "NextG" (and, in fact, the name itself) is better is purely marketing spin.

Excellent overview. Could you post it in the mobileRead wiki please.

Dale

zartemis
11-21-2007, 03:03 PM
I'd be sympathetic if they said they made a mistake and listed it in stock even when they didn't have any more (maybe they miscounted or some of them were damaged), and were instead shipping it in the next batch, but to bump me way to the end of the line? It's really poor service. I've gotten no response to my question to them asking why.

Just an update. I have gotten a response, but now they keep making promises and don't keep them. On my first query, I was assured it would ship yesterday (the 20th) and my order entered the "shipping soon" state that day (with expected delivery of the 30th!). But yesterday came and went and no shipment. I asked again and was told it would ship today (21st) -- still no tracking number yet.

Remember -- I ordered this while it was still IN STOCK on the site with overnight shipping! Meanwhile people who ordered after me already have theirs in hand. Very frustrating.

zartemis
11-22-2007, 02:11 AM
Just an update. I have gotten a response, but now they keep making promises and don't keep them....

Remember -- I ordered this while it was still IN STOCK on the site with overnight shipping!

And a happier, and hopefully final, update:

I followed up my email to Amazon customer support with a phone call and spoke with a nice gentleman who informed me that while I had been promised shipping dates of the 19th, then the 20th, and then the 21st, that it wasn't going to ship until the 29th. He offered a $15 gift certificate for the problems, but I said what I really wanted was for it to ship today (21st) if at all possible so I could have it before the weekend. And that their site claims it is "first come first serve" and I ordered when it was in stock.

He then offered to send a note to the warehouse with information on when the order was placed and asking for it to be shipped today and that he would follow up personally with any reply. I accepted that (since I'd prefer a chance at early shipping over $15).

A few hours later I got a DHL tracking number as well as email from another Amazon customer service person apologizing for the delay, confirming shipment, refunding the overnight shipping fee, and crediting my account with a token (but appreciated, since I did not ask for any extra credit) $5. DHL lists it as "in transit" with next day service (so I'll get it Friday, the 23rd).

astra
11-22-2007, 04:06 AM
A few hours later I got a DHL tracking number as well as email from another Amazon customer service person apologizing for the delay, confirming shipment, refunding the overnight shipping fee, and crediting my account with a token (but appreciated, since I did not ask for any extra credit) $5. DHL lists it as "in transit" with next day service (so I'll get it Friday, the 23rd).

Well done, Amazon!

HappyMartin
11-22-2007, 04:58 AM
Why am I emotional about the kindle?

Well it is so ugly and it is has bad bad DRM and Amazon have got it all wrong and it is white for goodness sakes and how will anyone ever keep it clean and whats with the keyboard and I already own an Iliad and what if I cant get access to all those cool Amazon titles and perhaps the kindle will be better than the iliad and cheaper too and what if I made a mistake when I bought the iliad and now the cybook as well and now the kindle wont be available in South Africa and everyone else will have more fun than me and at a lower cost and I will lose all my friends and my wife and everything is going to be awful and thats why I am emotional about the kindle.

HarryT
11-22-2007, 07:17 AM
But other than that it's OK?

:)

lubberts
11-23-2007, 03:37 AM
I definitely agree with the feelings of the original poster. After reading about the Kindle, personally, I was stoked. It sounded like there were a few downsides to the device, but more reasons to buy than reasons to avoid. I have more than one on the way, unfortunately esitmated to be here on or around the 10th of december, but it is on the way with no reservations nonetheless.
It felt like, everywhere I've read about the device (here, gizmodo, engadget, and the actual reviews on amazon) there was excess harshness about the device, and about Amazon. Most of the negative reviews I read were coming from people who have not ever owned an e-ink device for reading books in the past (and therefore do not have an accurate gage of what the other options are if you ARE going to own one, not just considering purchasing one), and from people who don't even own or haven't ever used the Kindle. At least that seems to be what I've noticed. That is a personal pet peeve of mine, if you don't have one, don't review one. Post your opinions in a forum by all means, but please don't review the product on the actual website. It's called a review. As in "review your EXPERIENCE with the product". It's not called a "why aren't you planning on getting one". grr. But I digress...
Honestly I don't understand all the hubub surrounding the DRM for the books, and the .azw format. I should mention though, I don't really get all fired up about drm'd music files either. It is the nature of the beast with electronic media in this day and age.

It seems like a circle, People are pissed at the DRM and format, because they want to get in on all the cheap multitudes of books that are going to be available, but do you really think that all of the publisher/authors would have agreed to make the multitudes available, or amazon would have decided to sell them at cheap prices if they did not have that same DRM and format? This is a business, not charity.
You can't have your cake and eat it too, and personally, I'd rather have tons of books to choose from to read on my one kindle device, than be able to read around 10,000 books I'm not interested in on any device of my choosing.
just my 2 cents.

As for the design, yes it's "butt ugly" as my nephew put it, but honestly, and forgive me if I over-generalize here, but as one the people who read enough books to truly justify the purchase of this device, are we really all that concerned with appearances? Really? I'm tidy, and not a slob by any means, usually I match...for the most part...at least I think I do...but I am no fashionista, I purchase my shoes at payless, or on sale, I judge the worth of a coat or pair of pants on the number and quality of pockets, and I'm not afraid to admit that I have purchased clothes at wal-mart and target on many more than one occasion. (the less I spend on clothing, the more I can spend on books, am I right?)
Realistically, if it were pretty, I'd probably get fewer odd looks while reading, but I've been getting odd looks while reading all my life, it really isn't going to deter me from enjoying the heck of my Kindle!
My iPhone gets noticed because it's pretty, I hope that people don't interrupt me in the middle of reading to ask about my Kindle like they do in the middle of conversations on my iPhone. So maybe the ugly is a benefit?
So, why is there so much...passion...about the kindle online? I can tell you it's not coming from me, and I noticed the outpouring of...opinions... as well, but I really have no explanation for it. Just more buzz this time around I'd suspect.

jasonkchapman
11-23-2007, 08:33 AM
So, why is there so much...passion...about the kindle online?

You realize that your own post can hardly be considered dispassionate, don't you? A lot of the recent passion about the Kindle on MobileRead has come from people who seem to have registered for the sole purpose of discussing comments posted on Amazon's site.

As usual, for the most part, the discussions on MobileRead have been predominately objective. A great many have been quite positive. (Many MR regulars have already bought Kindles.) That makes sense for a forum that is as likely to discuss an industry in general as it is to discuss any specific unit.

You want passion? Look up some of the old threads on DRM. Or, for a real thrill ride, do a search for "backlight" threads. Oh, the humanity.

lubberts
11-23-2007, 01:11 PM
haha, that's true jacksonchapman, my post was pretty passionate. And I appreciate that most all of the comments on this website have been objective, instead of ranting negative things. I like that about this forum because people here are well read on the subject of ebooks and readers, and most own one or two. That makes for feedback about the device that is realistic. I like that!
My choice of words was bad. Instead of "passion" perhaps I should have said "negativity". I Don't remember as much negative feedback when researching my purchases of the prs 500 and 505, but it seems to me like the kindle has more, and cooler features, yet there is much more negativity about it, especially on the Amazon website. I think it is just because there is more hubub surrounding this reader's release than there was for the prs 500 or 505.

astra
11-23-2007, 06:38 PM
My choice of words was bad. Instead of "passion" perhaps I should have said "negativity". I Don't remember as much negative feedback when researching my purchases of the prs 500 and 505, but it seems to me like the kindle has more, and cooler features, yet there is much more negativity about it, especially on the Amazon website. I think it is just because there is more hubub surrounding this reader's release than there was for the prs 500 or 505.

I think there is a simple explanation.

You believe that kindle has cool featires, but all the negative feedback/opinions about it on mobileread forum shows that there are just more people who dislike kindle than there were people who disliked sony.

DaleDe
11-23-2007, 06:44 PM
I think there is a simple explanation.

You believe that kindle has cool featires, but all the negative feedback/opinions about it on mobileread forum shows that there are just more people who dislike kindle than there were people who disliked sony.

And a fair number had their minds made up before they ever even saw one.

Dale

yvanleterrible
11-24-2007, 12:48 PM
Frankly, I hate and like all readers for all their weaknesses and strengths.

I like them for what they do brilliantly and I hate them because none is the reader I want.

A4, colo(u)r, connective, input driven; an eink computer tablet 1/4" thick and 4 oz., terrabyte thingie. :grin:

astra
11-24-2007, 02:51 PM
And a fair number had their minds made up before they ever even saw one.

Dale

You mean they saw the initial pic of Kindle?
Maybe a real Kindle is a bit better than this picture, however, Kindle still has keyboard. Absolutely unacceptable, IMHO, for book reader solution.

Alisa
11-24-2007, 03:06 PM
You mean they saw the initial pic of Kindle?
Maybe a real Kindle is a bit better than this picture, however, Kindle still has keyboard. Absolutely unacceptable, IMHO, for book reader solution.

Even though I'm happy to have an input solution and search, I have to admit I would prefer if it were an on-screen keyboard even if that made it a little slower. It's not like the physical keyboard is going to be lightning-fast anyway with the small keys and e-ink response times. I wonder if they made the decision for the physical keyboard because they thought their target audience would be put off by any sort of more new-fangled input mechanism. It seems they had an overall design philosophy of not seeming like a bleeding edge high-tech gadget. I'm really curious to see what their focus groups looked like. I'm getting the feeling it wasn't full of people like me.

yvanleterrible
11-24-2007, 04:29 PM
I think the keyboard is for internet browsing, remember they have blogging possibilities.

astra
11-24-2007, 06:45 PM
I think the keyboard is for internet browsing, remember they have blogging possibilities.

Yes, I know why it is there. It just doesn't fall into my definition of book reader. I mean, if Amazon appear on the UK market tomorrow, I will still go for Sony Reader from bhphotovideo.

THJahar
11-25-2007, 07:42 PM
I think people are getting het up about the kindle because amazon's actions denote that you have two personality attributes:
1) DRM say's you are a untrustworthy thieving bastard
2) Bespoke DRM says that you are a DISLOYAL untrustworthy thieving bastard.
It's not many times that I will lay down 200 quid to be insulted

DaleDe
11-25-2007, 10:04 PM
I think people are getting het up about the kindle because amazon's actions denote that you have two personality attributes:
1) DRM say's you are a untrustworthy thieving bastard
2) Bespoke DRM says that you are a DISLOYAL untrustworthy thieving bastard.
It's not many times that I will lay down 200 quid to be insulted

You are not deserving to buy a Sony, Cybook, iLiad, Kindle, use a Micosoft Reader or hardly any of the other devices since they all insist of DRM. You can buy an eBookwise-1150.

Dale

astra
11-26-2007, 04:30 AM
You are not deserving to buy a Sony, Cybook, iLiad, Kindle, use a Micosoft Reader or hardly any of the other devices since they all insist of DRM. You can buy an eBookwise-1150.

Dale

That's why he has Jinke V2 :)

THJahar
11-26-2007, 06:49 AM
That's why he has Jinke V2 :)
Yup, OK it does have DRM and a bespoke one at that (wol) , but it also allows txt files, pdf files etc.
But the difference is that Hanlin do not own a distribution network, with which they force you to be loyal to by creating a bespoke DRM and not allowing others to use (Hanlin will no doubt sell you the technology to use their DRM if you are a bookstore)
That is the the thing that has reeeeallly pissed me off, when they had the rights to the perfectly usuable DRM mobipocket, but they didn't want to allow the purchasers of the device to use competing e-book shops.
And then had the gall not to even subsidise the price of the kindle due to this.

jasonkchapman
11-26-2007, 07:16 AM
That is the the thing that has reeeeallly pissed me off, when they had the rights to the perfectly usuable DRM mobipocket, but they didn't want to allow the purchasers of the device to use competing e-book shops.
And then had the gall not to even subsidise the price of the kindle due to this.

You know, this may be a matter of "one battle at a time." If content were already a thriving market, it would be easy to enter the business and use the content to subsidize the hardware. If hardware were a thriving market, it would be easy to join that fray and then woo customers with a dazzling array of content.

Right now, neither market is thriving. They're both still in their infancy, so Amazon is trying to do both at once. So, one battle at a time. Use the content to entice the mainstream buyer into the market, then, once the content market exists, get the hardware price more competitive.

Alisa
11-26-2007, 01:15 PM
And then had the gall not to even subsidise the price of the kindle due to this.

The scary thing is, with the price of the screen and three years of R&D they likely are subsidizing the cost of the reader. At the very least it's at or near cost. People assume it's price gouging because they're comparing it to other gadgets in the market. Between that and the low content prices, I wouldn't be surprised if they take a loss on this business for awhile before things get moving. I'm not saying they're altruistic. They're taking a bet they think will pay off in profit down the road. They're a business like any other. I'm hoping once the dust settles after the initial launch, they start allowing other readers in or start offering the titles as Mobipocket files. They'd probably be at least a slightly higher price to keep the Kindle attractive but I see no reason they'd ignore that low-hanging fruit.