View Full Version : Anti-Muslim Bias to the International Kindle


luqmaninbmore
10-07-2009, 07:14 PM
Greetings All,

I'm not trying to sound paranoid or anything, but I did notice that one thing that seems to bind together many of the countries in which the international Kindle will not be sold is that they are Muslim countries. The only Muslim dominated countries that I could find that could receive the Kindle are Albania and Bosnia, which are within Europe, and Tanzania which is in eastern Africa. It is not available for sale within the entire Arab world, even in countries with well-developed infrastructure such as the United Arab Emirates. India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and even Bhutan can receive it, but Pakistan and Bangladesh are excluded. Ethiopians can buy it, but their Muslim neighbours in Eritrea cannot. It is available in Russia and Mongolia, but not in the Central Asian Republics. It is available in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, but not Indonesia or Malaysia (to be fair, Thailand and Korea are excluded as well). I don't think this is due to potential censorship, given that it can be purchased in Myanmar, Bhutan (which has strict policies regarding external media), Russia, India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe all of which have issues with censorship. Am I rushing to judgement? I find it hard to believe that Pakistani telecoms are harder to deal with than those in India or Sri Lanka, or that the infrastructure of Morocco is lagging behind that of Mongolia. What do you all think?

wallcraft
10-07-2009, 07:34 PM
The AT&T coverage map includes some of the countries excluded from receiving a Kindle. So perhaps this is due to ebook rights. AT&T coverage is in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and UAE for example. AT&T isn't available in Pakistan (not even for their standard international data plans), which would otherwise presumably be a big market for English language ebooks.

desertgrandma
10-07-2009, 07:34 PM
Its not available in Canada either, and yes, I believe you are most certainly rushing to judgment.

No company as huge as Amazon would be able to continue in business with that attitude.

DaleDe
10-07-2009, 07:49 PM
They are prejudiced against Jews (not available in Israel), also against atheist (not available in communist china). I suspect there is another explanation than bias on their part. It is a serious accusation to jump without any data.

Superlucky
10-07-2009, 07:49 PM
I'm not trying to sound paranoid or anything...

You sound paranoid.

Nate the great
10-07-2009, 07:57 PM
They are prejudiced against Jews (not available in Israel), also against atheist (not available in communist china). I suspect there is another explanation than bias on their part. It is a serious accusation to jump without any data.

There is also a racial bias (it's not available in black).

brecklundin
10-07-2009, 07:57 PM
Greetings All,

I'm not trying to sound paranoid or anything, but I did notice that one thing that seems to bind together many of the countries in which the international Kindle will not be sold is that they are Muslim countries. The only Muslim dominated countries that I could find that could receive the Kindle are Albania and Bosnia, which are within Europe, and Tanzania which is in eastern Africa. It is not available for sale within the entire Arab world, even in countries with well-developed infrastructure such as the United Arab Emirates. India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and even Bhutan can receive it, but Pakistan and Bangladesh are excluded. Ethiopians can buy it, but their Muslim neighbours in Eritrea cannot. It is available in Russia and Mongolia, but not in the Central Asian Republics. It is available in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, but not Indonesia or Malaysia (to be fair, Thailand and Korea are excluded as well). I don't think this is due to potential censorship, given that it can be purchased in Myanmar, Bhutan (which has strict policies regarding external media), Russia, India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe all of which have issues with censorship. Am I rushing to judgement? I find it hard to believe that Pakistani telecoms are harder to deal with than those in India or Sri Lanka, or that the infrastructure of Morocco is lagging behind that of Mongolia. What do you all think?


can we give negative karma???...jeebus tapdancing key-ryst... :p

luqmaninbmore
10-07-2009, 08:15 PM
Its not available in Canada either, and yes, I believe you are most certainly rushing to judgment.

No company as huge as Amazon would be able to continue in business with that attitude.

I don't think it's because they dislike Muslims. It may because of fear of legal entaglements if someone objects to kindle content. This would not account for availability in Myanmar, Russia or other countries with censorship issues. I just find it hard to believe that telecom and ebook rights are easier to obtain in Zimbabwe than in Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, or Tunisia.

Luqman

Sonist
10-07-2009, 08:17 PM
Hmmmmm.....

It may also be, because they are preparing special editions of the Kindle for those countries, which will surreptitiously infect babies with AIDS and cause impotency in men....

It can't be anything else.... Hmmmm.... :chinscratch:

P.S. Just saw your post above. You may have kind of a point regarding the more orthodox Muslim countries (god forbid someone downloads The Satanic Verses from Amazon,) but I would still guess it may have to do more with publishing rights and restrictions.

Alfy
10-07-2009, 09:11 PM
Considering the censorship in countries like Saudi Arabia, it's no wonder: the process of selling a single book would be a nightmare. And guess what? That's true in China as well!

whitearrow
10-08-2009, 12:09 AM
::: eyeroll :::

I'll take paranoid, knee-jerk anti-Americanism for $200, Alex.

Kali Yuga
10-08-2009, 01:35 AM
Is Amazon anti-Muslim? I'm gonna say "no."

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=koran&x=0&y=0

Most likely the hold-up linked to an international book rights issue. Besides, this is just the launch, I'm sure service will be expanded to more countries.

HansTWN
10-08-2009, 02:12 AM
I am sure Amazon would gladly take any Muslim's money, if they could!

braver
10-08-2009, 02:15 AM
Russia has no real censorship for books or electronic media -- it's for movies, TV, large circulation print, and other mass media only, so it's not surprising the Kindle is available there now. iPhone was available in Russia for a while officially. Russian cell phone companies also are mostly partners with the European ones and data roaming is easy. One shouldn't mix Chinese or Saudi issues with the Russian ones -- no Internet censorship whatsoever so far.

AlexBell
10-08-2009, 03:54 AM
I find many of the responses in this thread quite discomforting.

The thread was started by someone checking out an opinion, and giving detailed reasons for his or her concerns. Whether or not the concerns are justified is not the point; the point is that many of the responses read as though the respondent felt personally insulted, and in my opinion at least are disproportionate to the objective way the original post was worded.

For example
'It is a serious accusation to jump without any data.'

'You sound paranoid'

'can we give negative karma???...jeebus tapdancing key-ryst... '

'It may also be, because they are preparing special editions of the Kindle for those countries, which will surreptitiously infect babies with AIDS and cause impotency in men....'

'I'll take paranoid, knee-jerk anti-Americanism for $200, Alex.'

Guilty consciences, anyone?

Regards, Alex

neilmarr
10-08-2009, 04:04 AM
Agreed, Alex. Although you might disagree with Luq's take on the situation, it's an interesting apparent anomaly and you could hardly call his post hysterical or hateful, as some responses seem to suggest.

What's puzzling me right now is why Kindle offers no wireless connectivity in Monaco, whereas it does in France itself. That really is odd when you consider the wealthy and tech-savvy middle-agead Anglophone population (a prime target market for ebook sellers, I'd have thought).

And -- before anyone starts on me, too -- I have no prejudice against Monegasques ... I married one. Hoots. Neil

K-Thom
10-08-2009, 04:27 AM
Alex, take a look at the tags "censorship, international, islam, kindle, muslim". They imply a certain opinion by Amazon which aren't based on any real facts.

So, luqmaninbmore, why not ask Amazon first? They're the one I'd have to address this issue to. Especially if I really am taking it seriously. And they're the only one who will provide a substantial reply.

brecklundin
10-08-2009, 05:18 AM
::: eyeroll :::

I'll take paranoid, knee-jerk anti-Americanism for $200, Alex.

if in the US that would be for $259...?? :D

astra
10-08-2009, 05:19 AM
I find many of the responses in this thread quite discomforting.

The thread was started by someone checking out an opinion, and giving detailed reasons for his or her concerns. Whether or not the concerns are justified is not the point; the point is that many of the responses read as though the respondent felt personally insulted, and in my opinion at least are disproportionate to the objective way the original post was worded.

I am insulted with it. So what?
They hate America. They attacked it. American company ignores them. What is a big deal? What did they expect?
Am I wrong?

What is wrong with
Its not available in Canada either, and yes, I believe you are most certainly rushing to judgment.

No company as huge as Amazon would be able to continue in business with that attitude

They are prejudiced against Jews (not available in Israel), also against atheist (not available in communist china). I suspect there is another explanation than bias on their part. It is a serious accusation to jump without any data.

answers?

It was paranoid to start the thread in the first place. I am surprised he received answers mentioned above.

rcuadro
10-08-2009, 05:32 AM
There is also a racial bias (it's not available in black).

It is not available in brown either :(

neilmarr
10-08-2009, 05:36 AM
Or tartan ...

Dave Berk
10-08-2009, 05:52 AM
I think the reason is much more simple.

Amazon will probably start to provide books in french to French, in russian to Russia, in german to Germany, etc... But I don't think they can currently support right to left languages such as arabic in the kindle. So they have no reason to start investing in arabic speaking countries...

lev
10-08-2009, 06:06 AM
I am insulted with it. So what?
They hate America. They attacked it. American company ignores them. What is a big deal? What did they expect?
Am I wrong?

It was paranoid to start the thread in the first place. I am surprised he received answers mentioned above.

well I am not going to respond to whether it was paranoia or not that started this thread but...

They attacked it??
which country may that be? I am not aware of any single muslim country ever attacking the US. Or interfering in internal US affairs for that matter...can't say the opposite is true however..
since the question was about kindle not being sold in Muslim countries..

HarryT
10-08-2009, 06:08 AM
I think the reason is much more simple.

Amazon will probably start to provide books in french to French, in russian to Russia, in german to Germany, etc... But I don't think they can currently support right to left languages such as arabic in the kindle. So they have no reason to start investing in arabic speaking countries...

The Kindle supports a format called "Topaz" which does support right-to-left languages, so Arabic books could be produced for it.

astra
10-08-2009, 06:32 AM
The Kindle supports a format called "Topaz" which does support right-to-left languages, so Arabic books could be produced for it.

Really? Are you sure about it?
If you are right it means they acn sell ebooks in Hebrew in Israel some day in future.

HarryT
10-08-2009, 06:36 AM
Yes. Topaz books are basically image scans, so they can display anything.

astra
10-08-2009, 06:40 AM
Yes. Topaz books are basically image scans, so they can display anything.

So, they are not reflowable?

HarryT
10-08-2009, 06:41 AM
I don't know. Perhaps somebody else can answer that.

neilmarr
10-08-2009, 07:08 AM
Does Guttenberg offer classics in Arabic, I wonder. I can't read it, but it's a beautiful, artful script just to gaze at. I also love the look of Hebrew and various Oriental examples of loving penmanship.

One of the treasured treebooks I'll hang onto when I clear my shelves of what is now waste paper is one with a tooled, soft, green leather cover written in Arabic and given to me by an old neighbour from Algeria. Can't understand a single letter, but gosh is it a lovely sight.

Our own alphabet of just twenty-six unardorned strokes is gorgeous in its simplicity and expressive potential (not to mention its adaptability to phonetics and other tongues and to modern technology), but it doesn't carry the same breathtaking power at a glance as, say, (for me indecipherable) ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Sorry to side-track a serious thread with an aside. Very best to everyone. Neil

WT Sharpe
10-08-2009, 07:26 AM
... I'm not trying to sound paranoid or anything, but I did notice that one thing that seems to bind together many of the countries in which the international Kindle will not be sold is that they are Muslim countries. The only Muslim dominated countries that I could find that could receive the Kindle are Albania and Bosnia, which are within Europe, and Tanzania which is in eastern Africa. It is not available for sale within the entire Arab world, even in countries with well-developed infrastructure such as the United Arab Emirates ...

Well, I certainly hope Amazon doesn't have an anti-Muslim bias. Being as the Kindle is just now going international, perhaps they have not yet worked out deals with the countries you mentioned.

There is also a racial bias (it's not available in black).

Well, what more proof is needed?:p

I am insulted with it. So what?
They hate America. They attacked it. American company ignores them. What is a big deal? What did they expect?
Am I wrong?

Yes, you are. Many Muslims are patriotic American citizens and many have served honorably and long in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not every Islamic believer is a terrorist any more than every Christian blows up abortion clinics.

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 07:39 AM
Alex, take a look at the tags "censorship, international, islam, kindle, muslim". They imply a certain opinion by Amazon which aren't based on any real facts.

So, luqmaninbmore, why not ask Amazon first? They're the one I'd have to address this issue to. Especially if I really am taking it seriously. And they're the only one who will provide a substantial reply.

I thought those were the most appropriate tags under which to file this topic. They were not meant to express any type of conclusion. Kindle is obvious, as is international. Islam and muslim because the apparent pattern that I noticed involves the predominantly muslim countries and excludes non-muslim countries in the same region (i.e. all of South Asia has the kindle except for Bangladesh and Pakistan, large stretches of Africa have it, but not Muslim/Arab North Africa, etc.). And censorship because this may be due to censorship concerns. Again, I was just pointing out an apparent pattern that I noticed. I think it would be awesome to have whispernet when I visit relatives in Dubai (just like I can have it when I visit relatives in India).

Luqman

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 07:41 AM
I am insulted with it. So what?
They hate America. They attacked it. American company ignores them. What is a big deal? What did they expect?
Am I wrong?


Who is "they?" Which Moroccans attacked America? Which Eritreans? Which Malaysians? Which Bangladeshis?

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 07:58 AM
I think the reason is much more simple.

Amazon will probably start to provide books in french to French, in russian to Russia, in german to Germany, etc... But I don't think they can currently support right to left languages such as arabic in the kindle. So they have no reason to start investing in arabic speaking countries...

Now that seems to me to be a real possibility. That's one of things I like about my Sony vs. my Kindle, actually, that I can read Arabic on it. That would also explain why Israel (Hebrew) was left out. Although it is offered in Ethiopia; the dominant languages in Ethiopia are semitic, but I am unfamiliar with their script and so I cannot say whether they are right to left.

Luqman

JayCeeEll
10-08-2009, 08:25 AM
Luqman, by only picking certain countries in certain areas you are doing what is often called "cherry picking", and is a result of observer bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_bias).

Try listing every country by region where the International Kindle is unavailable before drawing any conclusions.

HarryT
10-08-2009, 08:28 AM
Luqman - what did Amazon say when you asked THEM about this?

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 08:55 AM
Luqman - what did Amazon say when you asked THEM about this?

I haven't heard back from them yet.

I'll keep y'all posted.

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 09:10 AM
Looking at their international coverage map, there are entire swathes of Saudi that are included in Whispernet coverage. It also extends to Canada and some other countries where the Kindle is not currently sold. Is this indicative of an intention by Amazon to eventually sell to these countries, or is it just the range of coverage offered by their telecom partners?

lev
10-08-2009, 09:12 AM
Luqman, by only picking certain countries in certain areas you are doing what is often called "cherry picking", and is a result of observer bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_bias).

Try listing every country by region where the International Kindle is unavailable before drawing any conclusions.

I not so sure he is cherry picking after looking at the countries they are available in. Although then again I don't think amazon is simply discriminating based on a country being populated by muslims.

having said that, it is pretty weird that amazon stops their product right at muslim countries.
case in point:
available in bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, Russia, Romania. Not available in Turkey and down to all the countries in the middle east.

Available in Philippines, Papau New Guinea, Australia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Timor, Fiji, Palau (small pacific islands etc) Not available in Malaysia and Indonesia. also not available in Thailand.

Available in Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, India. not available in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh. Also not available in China.

Available in Georgia, Russia, Mongolia. Not available in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan.

Available in Ethiopia, Uganda, Central African Republic, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Congo, Gabon, Ethiopia, Mozambique etc (too long to search all). Not available in Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal. (all muslim dominant countries)

only major muslim populated country I can see that has kindle available is Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I'm not even going to list the Arab countries...

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 09:12 AM
The AT&T coverage map includes some of the countries excluded from receiving a Kindle. So perhaps this is due to ebook rights. AT&T coverage is in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and UAE for example. AT&T isn't available in Pakistan (not even for their standard international data plans), which would otherwise presumably be a big market for English language ebooks.

When did AT&T stop covering Pakistan? I was in Lahore in 2005 to attend a wedding and I had AT&T roaming.

Luqman

JeremyZ
10-08-2009, 09:26 AM
Its not available in Canada either, and yes, I believe you are most certainly rushing to judgment.

+1

Amazon has a lot going for it, as does Kindle. Being an American capitalistic business, the only reason they wouldn't be selling it in every country in the world is that they're unable to. Either because of copyright issues, wireless coverage, or simply the inability to produce enough of them to satisfy global demand.

My opinion is that Amazon should set up Kindle sites for each country. If wireless is not really an option, sell a version without wireless for those countries (heck, even in the US!) and populate that country's library with books that are properly copyrighted for each country. Simple, but Amazon doesn't want to drop the wireless. That is currently their feature advantage over their competition.

When I bought my Kindle, I didn't think wireless was necessary. But it is one of those features that once you have it, you won't want to be without it again, especially if it is "free" or included in the purchase price of the device.

ahi
10-08-2009, 09:34 AM
They are prejudiced against Jews (not available in Israel), also against atheist (not available in communist china). I suspect there is another explanation than bias on their part. It is a serious accusation to jump without any data.

He does in fact have more data, which he explained in detail, than you have for the assumptions you are using to ridicule him.

It doesn't mean he is right... but he's not the idiot he's being made out to be. (As Lev's post further details.)

- Ahi

astra
10-08-2009, 10:16 AM
He does in fact have more data, which he explained in detail, than you have for the assumptions you are using to ridicule him.

It doesn't mean he is right... but he's not the idiot he's being made out to be. (As Lev's post further details.)

- Ahi

He is what he is and he knows it very well.

wallcraft
10-08-2009, 10:18 AM
Topaz books are basically image scans, so they can display anything. TOPAZ ebooks are based on a scan, but I have not seen any technical description of how they work from Amazon. From my observations of how TOPAZ ebooks display on the screen, they seem to contain an embedded font as bitmaps in six fixed sizes and the "font" is based on scans of the actual document (so some letters could appear twice if it does not scan well and the OCR software ends up with two canonical glyphs). This embedded font is then used for more or less conventional OCR transcription into "text".

So they do reflow, into six font sizes. However, since they are restricted to 6 sizes they could just as easily have been stored as six individual page sizes.

I don't know if TOPAZ supports right-to-left languages, all the TOPAZ ebooks I have seen are in English. Amazon did say "get English-language books in 60 seconds" at the end of their front page message. On the other hand they also say: Our vision for Kindle is to have every book ever printed, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds.

ahi
10-08-2009, 10:22 AM
He is what he is and he knows it very well.

Try and keep your ignorant prejudices out of this thread.

---

luqmaninbmore and lev, does the data present in this article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8296200.stm) make the anti-Muslim bias seem less acute?

- Ahi

lev
10-08-2009, 10:48 AM
Try and keep your ignorant prejudices out of this thread.

---

luqmaninbmore and lev, does the data present in this article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8296200.stm) make the anti-Muslim bias seem less acute?

- Ahi

interesting article and yes that the misconception of Islam = arabs is unfortunately prevalent.

As to whether Amazon is biased on Muslim countries, I do not claim this to be so because of religion but there may be some other common issues that may be indirectly related such as censorship.

also obvious items such as Salman Rushdie's book or the Danish cartoon controversy may have made amazon policy makers re-think about how to handle such issues and may have deferred their launch until they sort it out. for example what will happen if you are subscribed to a magazine or newspaper that may have items that might be viewed as offensive to Muslims? Even though they are not directly responsible, there is a chance that their company may be targeted in such circumstances. having no control on the content of such items may have influenced their decision until they come up with a policy to handle such issues and not risk their global image. which I think is a legitimate concern for amazon.

Otherwise, as a corporation I do not believe Amazon will willingly limit their opportunity to make profit by discriminating against muslims. However, I also understand that they would want to protect their image of any problems that may arise because of such examples I gave.

having said all that, keep in mind that up until an hour ago i did not even think of such things and I do not want to rush in to judgements. Hence I want to point out that I may very well be wrong in my thinking.

astra
10-08-2009, 10:54 AM
Try and keep your ignorant prejudices out of this thread.

---

luqmaninbmore and lev, does the data present in this article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8296200.stm) make the anti-Muslim bias seem less acute?

- Ahi

You presume too much.

Lower your arrogance a notch. You might benefit from it.

ahi
10-08-2009, 10:58 AM
interesting article and yes that the misconception of Islam = arabs is unfortunately prevalent.

As to whether Amazon is biased on Muslim countries, I do not claim this to be so because of religion but there may be some other common issues that may be indirectly related such as censorship.

....

All very good points. Thank you for your comments on the subject!

- Ahi

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 11:00 AM
He is what he is and he knows it very well.

Lol, I am what I am? I'm Popeye now?

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 11:07 AM
Try and keep your ignorant prejudices out of this thread.

---

luqmaninbmore and lev, does the data present in this article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8296200.stm) make the anti-Muslim bias seem less acute?

- Ahi

Interesting. They are excluding 500 million people by not selling in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia. The former two countries definitely have large english speaking populations (English-language schooling is extremely popular in Lahore; there were many street-corner English medium schools there when I visited back in 2005). I wonder if piracy concerns are an issue, at least with Pakistan. The number of pirated books and DVDs there is staggering, many I'm sure coming from China.

Luqman

desertgrandma
10-08-2009, 11:37 AM
People, calm down. They've bare begun to scratch the surface in world wide availability.


As someone else posted on this thread, Amazon is a capitalist company. Predjudiced? :rofl:

They would take money from anyone, anywhere, from Mars if they could. And, more power to them.

I find this thread extremely disturbing......its bringing out te worst in some of us. I wish it were closed.

Lman, what exactly is your point? Do you not realize the complexities of what Amazon is trying to do without bringing racism into it?

GeoffC
10-08-2009, 11:45 AM
Let's not get too carried away here .... 51 milllion muslims live in Europe and 10 million in America ....

Hellmark
10-08-2009, 12:01 PM
Piracy, I'd say factors largely into it. Not to mention, what is the likelihood of people buying them in those countries?

ahi
10-08-2009, 12:05 PM
People, calm down. They've bare begun to scratch the surface in world wide availability.

As someone else posted on this thread, Amazon is a capitalist company. Predjudiced? :rofl:

They would take money from anyone, anywhere, from Mars if they could. And, more power to them.

I find this thread extremely disturbing......its bringing out te worst in some of us. I wish it were closed.

Lman, what exactly is your point? Do you not realize the complexities of what Amazon is trying to do without bringing racism into it?

I don't see anybody, other than perhaps the people ridiculing the original poster as being worked up. Nor do I see what there is to be disturbed about at all... other than, again, the aforementioned knee-jerk ridicule.

And his point has been articulated calmly and clearly, I thought. Just above your post, for example.

- Ahi

HarryT
10-08-2009, 12:25 PM
Piracy, I'd say factors largely into it. Not to mention, what is the likelihood of people buying them in those countries?

With 500 million people, even if only 1 person in 1000 bought one, that's still half a million sales.

I'm sure that Amazon won't ignore this market for long. They're too savvy for that.

lev
10-08-2009, 12:33 PM
With 500 million people, even if only 1 person in 1000 bought one, that's still half a million sales.

I'm sure that Amazon won't ignore this market for long. They're too savvy for that.

I agree. there is no way that amazon would ignore such potential. They will most likely enter those markets once they sort out whatever reason they have for not selling during initial launch.

lev
10-08-2009, 12:38 PM
I find this thread extremely disturbing......its bringing out te worst in some of us. I wish it were closed.



I don't think its that bad.
but for whatever reason if I have inadvertently offended anyone in any way I do apologize.

delphidb96
10-08-2009, 12:56 PM
Looking at their international coverage map, there are entire swathes of Saudi that are included in Whispernet coverage. It also extends to Canada and some other countries where the Kindle is not currently sold. Is this indicative of an intention by Amazon to eventually sell to these countries, or is it just the range of coverage offered by their telecom partners?

Have you considered that, perhaps, Amazon is afraid of massive lawsuits or even fatwahs against it because it's Kindle book delivery system would allow books that don't "pass muster" by the various mullahs to be purchased and (Oh my GAWD! Say it ain't so!) even read by the average citizen of those countries? Not saying that *IS* the case, but it might be a factor.

Derek

HarryT
10-08-2009, 01:00 PM
Have you considered that, perhaps, Amazon is afraid of massive lawsuits or even fatwahs against it because it's Kindle book delivery system would allow books that don't "pass muster" by the various mullahs to be purchased and (Oh my GAWD! Say it ain't so!) even read by the average citizen of those countries? Not saying that *IS* the case, but it might be a factor.

Derek

But why should that be any truer, Derek, than religious fanatics in the United States objecting to books promoting, say, Darwinian evolution, or atheism?

Nate the great
10-08-2009, 01:04 PM
But why should that be any truer, Derek, than religious fanatics in the United States objecting to books promoting, say, Darwinian evolution, or atheism?

Religous fanatics (Christian fanatics, that is) in the US are less likely to use a car bomb to express their displeasure with Amazon.

Elfwreck
10-08-2009, 01:11 PM
Religous fanatics (Christian fanatics, that is) in the US are less likely to use a car bomb to express their displeasure with Amazon.

You think so? If our Christian right-wing activists get the idea that Amazon Kindles support abortion rights, there certainly could be bombings.

That said--I doubt the reasons have anything to do with fear of violence, or even (directly) with censorship. I expect it's a matter of economics--Kindle problems with the local languages, ability to supply/maintain wireless coverage (which Amazon insists is required for Kindle sales), and potentially local laws involving imported technology.

Not including them on the first wave of non-US Kindle sales doesn't mean anything. It may just mean "we only have so many Kindles to sell in the next six months, and we're focusing those sales on the countries we expect to buy the most books after they buy Kindles, in order to fund the next wave of non-US Kindle production."

ahi
10-08-2009, 01:13 PM
Have you considered that, perhaps, Amazon is afraid of massive lawsuits or even fatwahs against it because it's Kindle book delivery system would allow books that don't "pass muster" by the various mullahs to be purchased and (Oh my GAWD! Say it ain't so!) even read by the average citizen of those countries? Not saying that *IS* the case, but it might be a factor.

Derek

This idea has already been expressed by lev, albeit a touch more respectfully.

Religous fanatics (Christian fanatics, that is) in the US are less likely to use a car bomb to express their displeasure with Amazon.

... must this thread really go down that road?

- Ahi

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 01:14 PM
Religous fanatics (Christian fanatics, that is) in the US are less likely to use a car bomb to express their displeasure with Amazon.

Car bomb maybe, but there is still plenty of religiously motivated violence in the US, from Church burnings to Abortion clinic bombings and shootings of abortion providers. There may be not as much per capita, but I think that has much more to do with poverty levels, political stability, and foreign invasions than any religion being more inherently peaceful. Besides, as far as I know, there are no amazon staff in countries we are discussing TO car bomb. With Saudi especially, I could see the censorship angle, as books promoting anything other than their officially sanctioned brand of Islam are restricted. The sufi stuff I see on Amazon would drive them nuts.

Penforhire
10-08-2009, 01:22 PM
I read one English translation of the Quran. I found the prophet too intolerant. Not all of Islam are America's enemies but our mortal enemies are indeed Islamic. In summary, I have no problem if Amazon is indeed showing some religious bias here.

lev
10-08-2009, 01:30 PM
That said--I doubt the reasons have anything to do with fear of violence, or even (directly) with censorship. I expect it's a matter of economics--Kindle problems with the local languages, ability to supply/maintain wireless coverage (which Amazon insists is required for Kindle sales), and potentially local laws involving imported technology.

Not including them on the first wave of non-US Kindle sales doesn't mean anything. It may just mean "we only have so many Kindles to sell in the next six months, and we're focusing those sales on the countries we expect to buy the most books after they buy Kindles, in order to fund the next wave of non-US Kindle production."

I would normally agree however, if you are to consider that kindle is sold in Armenia and Georgia (small markets, low income, less developed) and not in Turkey (compared to Armenia and Georgia have larger market, higher income and better infrastructure as in coverage - look at the coverage map given in amazon and you see both Armenia and Georgia have no wireless coverage) I believe economic reason does not hold. I am sure such comparison will hold for other countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia vs Timor, Papau New Guinea etc.

delphidb96
10-08-2009, 01:33 PM
But why should that be any truer, Derek, than religious fanatics in the United States objecting to books promoting, say, Darwinian evolution, or atheism?

Not saying that there aren't weird fanatics in the US. Especially on the topics you've just mentioned (As if evolution could ever be a "religion" :D ). However, we DO have a little something called the Bill of Rights which the rest of us can use to tell those (and I'm only referring to US fanatics here) idjits where to shove it. :D :D :D

Derek

delphidb96
10-08-2009, 01:36 PM
I read one English translation of the Quran. I found the prophet too intolerant. Not all of Islam are America's enemies but our mortal enemies are indeed Islamic. In summary, I have no problem if Amazon is indeed showing some religious bias here.

Oh puh-LEEZE! Do NOT go down that road! I've read CAIR's masterpiece of religious propaganda and while reading all the commentary left a decidedly bad taste in my mouth, I did NOT come away believing that Islamics are our (US citizen here) mortal enemies.

Derek

delphidb96
10-08-2009, 01:38 PM
Car bomb maybe, but there is still plenty of religiously motivated violence in the US, from Church burnings to Abortion clinic bombings and shootings of abortion providers. There may be not as much per capita, but I think that has much more to do with poverty levels, political stability, and foreign invasions than any religion being more inherently peaceful. Besides, as far as I know, there are no amazon staff in countries we are discussing TO car bomb. With Saudi especially, I could see the censorship angle, as books promoting anything other than their officially sanctioned brand of Islam are restricted. The sufi stuff I see on Amazon would drive them nuts.

Exactly! And pointing out that some countries have this decided tendency to censor anything of value does not in any way reflect on the religion itself. (GAWD! My neighbors are muslim, have lived next to us for years and years and we get along just fine. We even swap meals during Ramadan and Passover. :D )

Derek

Elfwreck
10-08-2009, 01:59 PM
I read one English translation of the Quran. I found the prophet too intolerant. Not all of Islam are America's enemies but our mortal enemies are indeed Islamic. In summary, I have no problem if Amazon is indeed showing some religious bias here.

This is absolutely not the forum for debates about what religions are or are not "enemies" of any particular nation.

If you'd prefer to take the topic to PM, I'd be happy to point out the flaws and dangers I've noticed in Christian scripture and religious practices. At whatever length you'd be willing to tolerate. From several angles, ranging from scientific to literary to historical to philosophical.

This. Is. Not. The. Place.

I absolutely don't believe there is any religious bias in Amazon's Kindle decisions, although I understand that countries with official non-Christian religions may have political or economic situations that are based on their religious beliefs, and those political or economic settings may have influenced Amazon's decisions.

luqmaninbmore
10-08-2009, 02:00 PM
I read one English translation of the Quran. I found the prophet too intolerant. Not all of Islam are America's enemies but our mortal enemies are indeed Islamic. In summary, I have no problem if Amazon is indeed showing some religious bias here.

There may indeed Muslims who are mortal enemies of the US, but there also mortal enemies of many other stripes, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Communist, Capitalist, Anarchist, Fascist, etc. Any country as wealthy and powerful as the US and which is not afraid to use that power to either invade or economically sanction its rivals/geo-political whipping boys will end up with mortal enemies of many stripes. As for what you believe about the Qur'an, all I can say is that it should be judged according to the truth it conveys. Tolerance is a social policy; I don't think it is either true or false. It is simply more or less pragmatic in a given social context.

Luqman

Edit: But again, these issues have nothing to do with what we are discussing. I don't think Amazon is prejudiced against Muslims. I simply noticed an apparent pattern and was curious about its explanation.

pshrynk
10-08-2009, 02:15 PM
I will step in and ask, politely, that discussions of religion, race, and creed be limited and preferably not carried out in MobileRead. We are an international community and our members have quite diverse backgrounds.

Also, once again, please refrain from personal attacks on one antoher. If yo disagree with someone, state that you disagree with their statement, but let's stop the use of the word "idiot" and like words, please.

pshrynk (moderator)

JayCeeEll
10-08-2009, 03:02 PM
I suspect that the reason some countries have been left out is actually a numbers game.

Say for example that Amazon can create 2 million Kindles in the next 6 months. half as national and half as international versions.

Given 100 countries that's only 10000 per country. (Outside the US)

Obviously some countries will get a lot more stock than that, but it may be that Amazon simply can not supply any more markets at this stage given the infrastructure and supply chain already in place.

And then there are just strange anomalies such as Canada.

Elfwreck
10-08-2009, 03:08 PM
I suspect that the reason some countries have been left out is actually a numbers game.

Say for example that Amazon can create 2 million Kindles in the next 6 months. half as national and half as international versions.

Given 100 countries that's only 10000 per country. (Outside the US)

It's been pointed out that some small countries with limited wireless access have been included. I suspect this is because they're somehow covered by trade contracts with larger nearby countries, and Amazon doesn't expect to sell substantial numbers of Kindles to those countries.

Alisa
10-08-2009, 03:08 PM
When you think of everything that goes into selling a product like this in a given country, I'm surprised they released it to so many countries simultaneously. The fact that Canada is not yet covered says to me that logistics can pose a serious barrier. Canada would be a huge market. I'm sure Amazon must want it. I doubt they're anti-Canadian. This says to me that there are complexities that go beyond just whether there is wireless coverage and people who want books. You figure they have to look at all sorts of things. Are the wireless fees low enough to support the business model? Is the link quality good in enough areas? Are there enough people who can afford it once you add duties and shipping? Are there enough customers for English language books? Could there be issues with the government? Can Amazon adequately provide customer support in the region? If it's going to cost you $50 to ship a replacement, then that can seriously suck out the profit. The list goes on. Even if all these things are favorable, there's the question of how fast they can scale this enterprise. If you can't add support for everyone at once, then you pick the areas you think will be most profitable.

When Amazon confined their initial release to the US, plenty of people speculated that it was just American isolationism. It's business. Most products do not have global launches. Companies figure out the best markets for their product at the time. There are plenty of products that are released elsewhere that never make it to the US. I don't take it personally.

desertgrandma
10-08-2009, 03:40 PM
I will step in and ask, politely, that discussions of religion, race, and creed be limited and preferably not carried out in MobileRead. We are an international community and our members have quite diverse backbrounds.

Also, once again, please refrain from personal attacks on one antoher. If yo disagree with someone, state that you disagree with their statement, but let's stop the use of the word "idiot" and like words, please.

pshrynk (moderator)


Thank you.

Ralph Sir Edward
10-08-2009, 03:48 PM
I suspect that part of the problem is rights clearance. Canada has a very complex right clearance, it has to be done on a title by title basis (US related rights versus UK related rights.) I don't know, and don't know how to look up, the rights available through the publishers for each country in the world. So publishers may only have rights to certain countries, or only a title list of available titles that the publisher has the rights to. In addition, local censorship issues may be involved. I expect that Amazon, as a ebook seller, does not want to deal with any title-by-title basis, whatever the reason, rather than just being able to sell anything by the publisher in a country where the publisher has rights.

This is all surmise, of course...

mores
10-08-2009, 03:56 PM
There is also a racial bias (it's not available in black). hahaha :) This made my day :(

ahi
10-08-2009, 04:38 PM
::: eyeroll :::

I'll take paranoid, knee-jerk anti-Americanism for $200, Alex.

Sorry, whitearrow. The only category we have left is "dimwitted self-congratulatory western xenophobia".

- Ahi

delphidb96
10-08-2009, 04:44 PM
Sorry, whitearrow. The only category we have left is "dimwitted self-congratulatory western xenophobia".

- Ahi

What's that you say? There are xenophobes out there who actually *fear* westerns??? For shame! Let them all watch re-runs of Bonanza! :D :D :D (G, D & R)

Derek

queentess
10-08-2009, 04:50 PM
The only category we have left is "dimwitted self-congratulatory western xenophobia".

I'm south of you, not west :D

Patricia
10-08-2009, 05:06 PM
I'm just wondering whether Amazon is actually capable of making enough devices to satisfy an open global market. I suspect not because the screens are made by specialist manufacturers.
If they can't offer devices to the entire planet then they may well be marketing the International Kindle in those states where Amazon has a fair number of sales, and has sorted out the international copyrights.
I'm guessing that the international Kindle won't be available in Cuba either.

fugazied
10-08-2009, 05:40 PM
Lucky for us capitalists don't care about religion or politics as long as there is a profit in it. There is probably additionally complex licensing in those areas.

They sell it in Australia and they are very multi-cultural, plenty of muslims/hindus/christians there.

Phogg
10-08-2009, 10:21 PM
Try and keep your ignorant prejudices out of this thread.

---

luqmaninbmore and lev, does the data present in this article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8296200.stm) make the anti-Muslim bias seem less acute?

- Ahi

Epic cause and effect comprehension fail.


The very thread title inserted ignorant (and unsupportable) biases into the conversation. Not those responding to the attack.

BenG
10-08-2009, 11:23 PM
I've learned a few things from this thread, i.e. criticizing Amazon is equivalent to criticizing America. Maybe we could modify the old saying, "What's good for Amazon is good for the USA."

lev
10-08-2009, 11:44 PM
Epic cause and effect comprehension fail.


The very thread title inserted ignorant (and unsupportable) biases into the conversation. Not those responding to the attack.

I don't agree with you at all. yes the original poster may have judged too quickly and the title of the post could have been set better rather than state Anti-Muslim bias etc. but in all fairness he did make a point that none of the major muslim countries except Bosnia and Albania (within Europe) have kindle launched.
and as to ahi's response to the poster, have a close look at his comments and you will see that he does have a point.
-they hate Americans, they attacked America etc...
muslims do not equal terrorists.
and then further on comments about "he knows what he is" etc.

now about the topic, have a look at it yourself and decide whether there is some common element in it.

here's something I got from the net. now kindle is available in more that 100 countries. However,

Kindle is currently not available in the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Apart from the countries in bold all the rest are countries with Major muslim populations. Now there are some exceptions like Canada, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore and Thailand. for whatever reasons they were not included. but nothing common within this group that can be pointed out.
As for China and Cuba we may be able to come up with some reasons like censorship or in Cubas case trade restrictions ( I believe it is still implemented by US government but not sure if that has changed in the last few years. )

And if you look at all the rest of the countries they all have one common point- being a muslim majority country.

Now as to suggestions that it may be due to technical reasons - it just simply does not stand where UAE, Turkey, SA, Malaysia have more than better coverage than some other countries like Mongolia, Armenia, Georgia, Central African countries etc.

As for Kindle doesnt have the capability to launch in all countries at once - well it is pretty weird that they decided for the time being not to launch in mostly muslim countries.

As for publishing rights, I doubt that muslim countries have such a different legal policy to the rest of the world. meaning that if Amazon is able to bridge and make it work in such disparate countries as Myanmar, Tanzania, Bhutan, France etc. I am sure they could have could have done it with some of those countries. unless all muslim countries publishing rights are so very different from the rest of the world.

Now, I do not propose that Amazon is doing it because they are biased or don't want to operate in those countries. Just that they may have censorship problems or other issues that they would prefer to wait and formulate policies before entering these markets.
I also do not blame Amazon as the responsible party, as it just doesn't make sense for a corporation to willingly pass on a huge opportunity to make profit. More likely it is the condition or the government policy of those countries that made them to take such action. and I do believe Amazon will eventually launch in those countries as they sort these issues out.

But at this time, there seems to be a common element of most of those countries being muslim. and I do believe that makes more sense than the idea somehow they just could not launch in those countries due to publishing rights or infrastructure etc. while they can in many other countries.

HansTWN
10-09-2009, 12:16 AM
Before you jump to any conclusions, you need two separate lists:

1.)Countries with AT&T roaming agreements with charges low enough that they could actually be covered by 2 USD per book.

2.)Countries in which censorship would not preclude most of the content.

Besides your list is not accurate. China (I think) is included among the "Kindle countries" and only has a tiny Muslim minority -- even though they have been in the news a lot lately. The country with the second biggest muslim population in the world, India, is included. Thailand, actually has a sizeable Muslim minority.

And I think you must also take cultural sensitivities into account. A lot of the content offered on Amazon will not be welcomed by devout Muslims. So it could simply be a business decision and Amazon is preparing for a special muslim website? Don't you think that Amazon would actually be strongly criticized in many muslim countries if they offered to deliver any objectionable content in this way?

luqmaninbmore
10-09-2009, 12:22 AM
I would like to add that I appreciate Amazon having put Arabic letters on the back plate and box for the Kindle 1 (does the Kindle 2 have a similar design?). I take my kindle to the local Islamic seminary where I take part time classes and use it for note taking. The keyboard's not half bad; too bad the device can't display Arabic in a convenient manner.

lev
10-09-2009, 12:44 AM
Before you jump to any conclusions, you need two separate lists:

1.)Countries with AT&T roaming agreements with charges low enough that they could actually be covered by 2 USD per book.

2.)Countries in which censorship would not preclude most of the content.

Besides your list is not accurate. China (I think) is included among the "Kindle countries" and only has a tiny Muslim minority -- even though they have been in the news a lot lately. The country with the second biggest muslim population in the world, India, is included. Thailand, actually has a sizeable Muslim minority.

And I think you must also take cultural sensitivities into account. A lot of the content offered on Amazon will not be welcomed by devout Muslims. So it could simply be a business decision and Amazon is preparing for a special muslim website? Don't you think that Amazon would actually be strongly criticized in many muslim countries if they offered to deliver any objectionable content in this way?

China is not included in kindle countries. and in my point I made an axception that it is most likely due to chinese government censorship and control. not because of muslims.
and I do agree with you on the cultural sensitivity. That is my point all along. that either because of censorship or because of cultural sensitivity that so far amazon has withheld from entering those markets. I do believe that they will eventually enter those markets whether they launch a separate site or not.

However, this also means that their policy is influenced by a common element- Islam.

and again I do not blame amazon for anti-muslim sentiment. just that Islam may have indeed played a major part in not launching kindle for the time being.

fjtorres
10-09-2009, 12:58 AM
Kindle is currently not available in the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.


Actually, every single one of those countries, *including Canada*, have censorship/freedom of speech restrictions that impact books. Except for the bold ones, all have literacy issues. None, except for the bold countries, rank very highly on personal freedom.
Lots of ways to slice and dice the list that are religion independent; doesn't make any of them valid, though.
It is worth remembering that correlation does not imply causation.
Conspiracy theorists fall prey to that fallacy all the time; it is sinply a sign or muddled thinking as Doc Smith would say.

That said, the reality is that on a planet with 240+ governments and 240+ sets of laws, telecom systems, etc, its a miracle Amazon actually was able to launch in 100 countries. Realistically, they could've cherry picked a dozen countries and made as much money, without even half the grief and insults that launching in 100 will bring them.

The glass ain't half empty, its half full.

lev
10-09-2009, 01:13 AM
Actually, every single one of those countries, *including Canada*, have censorship/freedom of speech restrictions that impact books. Except for the bold ones, all have literacy issues. None, except for the bold countries, rank very highly on personal freedom.
Lots of ways to slice and dice the list that are religion independent.

That said, the reality is that on a planet with 240+ governments and sets of laws, telecom systems, etc, its a miracle Amazon actually was able to launch in 100 countries.

The glass ain't half empty, its half full.

I definitely agree that for whatever reason they did not, I have to take my hat off for the fact they actually did launch in more than 100 countries in one go. without any rumor!!

besides, it really doesn't effect me in any way that they are not available in those countries. As long as they have it Japan, Guam and Australia I am all set...now if only I hadn't bought my sony 600 3 weeks ago..:angry:

HansTWN
10-09-2009, 01:22 AM
I definitely agree that for whatever reason they did not, I have to take my hat off for the fact they actually did launch in more than 100 countries in one go. without any rumor!!

besides, it really doesn't effect me in any way that they are not available in those countries. As long as they have it Japan, Guam and Australia I am all set...now if only I hadn't bought my sony 600 3 weeks ago..:angry:

Don't worry, the Sony is actually the superior device. If I get a Kindle then I would only get a DX.

lev
10-09-2009, 01:31 AM
Don't worry, the Sony is actually the superior device. If I get a Kindle then I would only get a DX.

true, i do like sony's style more. and the fact that it is more open to other formats.

however, my screen has problems with fading under the sun and most likely have to send it back... :(

Phogg
10-09-2009, 01:56 AM
And if you look at all the rest of the countries they all have one common point- being a muslim majority country.


No they a number of things in common, Islam being only one of them.
They have certain differences in their legal process regarding outside businesses.

You personally could argue that those legal barriers, (erected by those countries and not Amazon btw) are a result of Islam, but that was not the thrust of the thread title. the title claimed a personal bias against Islam was at work, rather than Protectionist government regulations (The actual cause here) to be the case.

It was an unreasoned attack, and your transparent claim that Islam was the ONE common point (An outright lie) does not mitigate that even a tiny bit.

Skip the claims of jingoism. Until you personally stop making crap like that up, you personally have no place criticizing anyone else.

lev
10-09-2009, 02:22 AM
No they a number of things in common, Islam being only one of them.
They have certain differences in their legal process regarding outside businesses.

You personally could argue that those legal barriers, (erected by those countries and not Amazon btw) are a result of Islam, but that was not the thrust of the thread title. the title claimed a personal bias against Islam was at work, rather than Protectionist government regulations (The actual cause here) to be the case.

It was an unreasoned attack, and your transparent claim that Islam was the ONE common point (An outright lie) does not mitigate that even a tiny bit.

Skip the claims of jingoism. Until you personally stop making crap like that up, you personally have no place criticizing anyone else.

yes they have certain differences in legal process just as in all the other 100 or more countries also do, yet somehow amazon has been able to adjust.

I am not making claims of jingoism. I am just speculating what could be a reason.
nor am I attacking or criticizing anyone the way you are going about it.
its surprising how one can not even speculate when it comes to this issue. at no point did I claim amazon is wrong in any way either.
please read my post and tell me where I have made such jingoist claims. have i speculated, yes. have I accused amazon of any wrong doing? no!
did I insinuate that the world is out to get the muslims or Americans are bent against Islam? no!
did I personally attack anyone?

folecr
10-09-2009, 03:07 AM
Interesting. Does Amazon sell all of their products *except* the Kindle in the countries the OP has listed?

(ps - I'm too lazy to look it up. I'm wondering if anyone knows offhand...)

HansTWN
10-09-2009, 05:04 AM
Sure, you can have most products shipped anywhere. Unless they are restricted by the manufacturer.

AlexBell
10-09-2009, 05:15 AM
Alex, take a look at the tags "censorship, international, islam, kindle, muslim". They imply a certain opinion by Amazon which aren't based on any real facts.

I mentioned in my post that my point was not whether the original poster's concern was justified, but that there seemed to me to be a disproportionate amount of venom in the responses to his or her trying to check out those concerns.

For what it is worth I think the explanations given by other posters resolve the issue of censorship. But they don't resolve the issue of why the tone of many of the responses did not match the dispassionate original post. And I gave one of several possible explanations.

Regards, Alex

AlexBell
10-09-2009, 05:19 AM
He is what he is and he knows it very well.

And your point is?

Regards, Alex

AlexBell
10-09-2009, 05:31 AM
Lucky for us capitalists don't care about religion or politics as long as there is a profit in it. There is probably additionally complex licensing in those areas.

They sell it in Australia and they are very multi-cultural, plenty of muslims/hindus/christians there.

If by 'it' you mean the Kindle I'm afraid you're mistaken. They not only won't sell Kindles to Australian residents they won't sell ebooks to Australian residents - as I know from personal experience.

Regards, Alex

HarryT
10-09-2009, 05:43 AM
Sure, you can have most products shipped anywhere. Unless they are restricted by the manufacturer.

That's not the case for electronics. They are mostly only sold within the USA on the Amazon.com site, only within the UK on the Amazon.co.uk site, and so on. I think it's a warranty issue.

WT Sharpe
10-09-2009, 07:37 AM
While hoping to avoid going too far off-topic or injecting any more religion into this thread than already exists; let me just say that today I finished reading a book that offers hope for the future of relations between the Abrahamic religions, and for that matter, between the Abrahamic religions and all other world religions. It's The Evolution of God by Robert Wright. While not endorsing every idea the author puts forth, nevertheless I consider it a very important work, and I highly recommend it.

ahi
10-09-2009, 07:48 AM
No they a number of things in common, Islam being only one of them.
They have certain differences in their legal process regarding outside businesses.

You personally could argue that those legal barriers, (erected by those countries and not Amazon btw) are a result of Islam, but that was not the thrust of the thread title. the title claimed a personal bias against Islam was at work, rather than Protectionist government regulations (The actual cause here) to be the case.

It was an unreasoned attack, and your transparent claim that Islam was the ONE common point (An outright lie) does not mitigate that even a tiny bit.

Skip the claims of jingoism. Until you personally stop making crap like that up, you personally have no place criticizing anyone else.

If the claim of jingoism wasn't already thoroughly justified, it would be now.

Good job!

- Ahi

Sparrow
10-09-2009, 07:54 AM
[ - deleted - ]

Phogg
10-09-2009, 09:01 AM
If the claim of jingoism wasn't already thoroughly justified, it would be now.

Good job!

- Ahi

Yep, pointing out the discarding of relevant information which hurts a cause, bolsters the assertion in Ahi world, where facts don't matter and leveling of unsupportable accusations against people in spite of the relevant information on hand is a virtue.

luqmaninbmore
10-09-2009, 09:15 AM
--- On Thu, 10/8/09, Amazon.com Customer Service <cust.service03@amazon.com> wrote:

> From: Amazon.com Customer Service <cust.service03@amazon.com>
> Subject: Your Amazon.com Inquiry
> To: "*****" <************>
> Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009, 6:26 PM
> Hello from Amazon.com,
>
> Thanks for writing to us with your concern.
>
> ďIím sorry, at this time we are not able to offer
> Kindle in " Some Arab Countries " as you mentioned. But, we
> value our international customers and hope to make content
> available in more locations in the future. And please don't
> misunderstand in this regard.
>
> I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again
> soon.
>
> Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:
>
> If yes, click here:
> http://www.amazon.com/*********
> If not, click here:
> http://www.amazon.com/**********
>
> Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that
> cannot accept incoming e-mail.
>
> To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the
> Help section of our web site.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Kishore B******
> Amazon.com
> We're Building Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company
> http://www.amazon.com/your-account
>
> ---- Original message: ----
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------------
>
> Comments:Greetings,
>
> I would like to know why the
> Kindle is not available anywhere within the Arab
> world. It also does not seem to be available in
> predominately Muslim countries (with the exception of
> Albania, Bosnia, and Tanzania), even though their non-Muslim
> neighbours can buy the Kindle. For example, the Kindle
> is available in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, but not
> in Pakistan or Bangladesh. To some people this may
> look like a deliberate attempt to exclude a significant part
> of the world population. I am sure that there is
> another reason for it and would like to be enlightened as to
> what it is.
>
> Thank you,
>
> Luc
> ---------------
>
>
>

ahi
10-09-2009, 09:40 AM
--- On Thu, 10/8/09, Amazon.com Customer Service <cust.service03@amazon.com> wrote:

> From: Amazon.com Customer Service <cust.service03@amazon.com>
> Subject: Your Amazon.com Inquiry
> To: "*****" <************>
> Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009, 6:26 PM
> Hello from Amazon.com,
>
> Thanks for writing to us with your concern.
>
> ďIím sorry, at this time we are not able to offer
> Kindle in " Some Arab Countries " as you mentioned. But, we
> value our international customers and hope to make content
> available in more locations in the future. And please don't
> misunderstand in this regard.
>
> I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again
> soon.
>
> Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:
>
> If yes, click here:
> http://www.amazon.com/*********
> If not, click here:
> http://www.amazon.com/**********
>
> Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that
> cannot accept incoming e-mail.
>
> To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the
> Help section of our web site.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Kishore B******
> Amazon.com
> We're Building Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company
> http://www.amazon.com/your-account
>
> ---- Original message: ----
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------------
>
> Comments:Greetings,
>
> I would like to know why the
> Kindle is not available anywhere within the Arab
> world. It also does not seem to be available in
> predominately Muslim countries (with the exception of
> Albania, Bosnia, and Tanzania), even though their non-Muslim
> neighbours can buy the Kindle. For example, the Kindle
> is available in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, but not
> in Pakistan or Bangladesh. To some people this may
> look like a deliberate attempt to exclude a significant part
> of the world population. I am sure that there is
> another reason for it and would like to be enlightened as to
> what it is.
>
> Thank you,
>
> Luc
> ---------------
>
>
>

Why does he put "Some Arab countries" in quotation marks, when the phrase is not contained in your own inquiry?

That response is just plain weird... although, Luc, to be frank I cannot believe there is any chance of getting a coherent answer not related to a product purchase via regular customer service contact mechanisms.

- Ahi

ahi
10-09-2009, 09:41 AM
Yep, pointing out the discarding of relevant information which hurts a cause, bolsters the assertion in Ahi world, where facts don't matter and leveling of unsupportable accusations against people in spite of the relevant information on hand is a virtue.

Why not. :rolleyes:

Edit: Oh, and Amazon is not a person but a corporation, Phogg.

- Ahi

neilmarr
10-09-2009, 09:50 AM
I think this might be a stock reply because other folks have noticed an apparent anomaly. Certainly reads like a form letter, and that might explain the unnecessarily quoted words, which might have been used in response the first of several incoming emails, but not in Luc's. Pretty bland, eh? So much like the kiss off line in a newspaper tale: "Amazon would neither confirm nor deny claims that ..." Hoots. Neil

ahi
10-09-2009, 09:53 AM
I think this might be a stock reply because other folks have noticed an apparent anomaly. Certainly reads like a form letter, and that might explain the unnecessarily quoted words, which might have been used in response the first of several incoming emails, but not in Luc's. Pretty bland, eh? So much like the kiss off line in a newspaper tale: "Amazon would neither confirm nor deny claims that ..." Hoots. Neil

You're probably right, Neil. That explains the uncalled for quotation.

- Ahi

DixieGal
10-09-2009, 09:58 AM
Prejudice of any sort just doesn't happen when it comes to getting money. Don't you think Amazon is biting at the lease to get a foot into the door of all of those RICH RICH RICH middle easterners? Was Dubai on the sell or no-sell list? (I skipped a lot because reading is painful to my eyes. Mostly read first lines of paragraphs.)

If they do not go there, it is because they can not yet go there. They are up against the possibility of some home-grown electronics company bringing its own reader to the local markets. Again, I'm sure Amazon is sweating this one out also, hoping to get in there and corner the market.

And I wonder what sort of hoops to jump and costs to lay out are involved in getting copyright permissions and licenses to sell, etc, in those countries not included? Could it be that the possibility of profit is less than the probability of destabilization of gvts, infrastructures, and economies, threatening a loss for Amazon in the near future?

And finally, well, we all know Amazon. They could announce before the close of business today that they will be expanding into more countries. They are set on world domination via Kindle, but it might take more than a year or two to accomplish this goal. Give 'em another year and see how widespread the Kindle6 (Global Edition, in both pocket and briefcase size) will become.

Hugs to all!

ahi
10-09-2009, 10:08 AM
Prejudice of any sort just doesn't happen when it comes to getting money. Don't you think Amazon is biting at the lease to get a foot into the door of all of those RICH RICH RICH middle easterners? Was Dubai on the sell or no-sell list? (I skipped a lot because reading is painful to my eyes. Mostly read first lines of paragraphs.)

You are probably right, DixieGal. However--as perhaps you mean to acknowledge by responding respectfully, unlike many others including some moderators have--the list of countries is such that it's understandable that other possible explanations can occur to some people.

I'm sure we will not learn with any certainty the "why" of it, but I rather expect that Amazon would indeed start offering books in Muslim countries also in the future. Even if at first only in the same sort of isolated basis that they offer books in China (I believe English/foreign books are not included on their Chinese website).

I'm still left puzzled though why some people take personal offense to a corporation they have nothing to do with being weakly accused of wrongdoing... a corporation that is by no means known as a champion of morality and customer rights, at that. Doesn't seem healthy.

- Ahi

luqmaninbmore
10-09-2009, 10:15 AM
Was Dubai on the sell or no-sell list? (I skipped a lot because reading is painful to my eyes. Mostly read first lines of paragraphs.)

If they do not go there, it is because they can not yet go there. They are up against the possibility of some home-grown electronics company bringing its own reader to the local markets. Again, I'm sure Amazon is sweating this one out also, hoping to get in there and corner the market.


EDIT: And it's not available in Dubai, unfortunately.

I hope you are correct. I am certainly doing my part to spread the word about ebooks around Muslim community here and I would like to be able to tell my fellows about a device that can offer full wireless when they go back east to visit family. My inlaws are mostly in India and the Phillipines, so worries for me, but alot of my friends are from Pakistan or the Middle East. Of course, I am somewhat annoyed that there isn't going to be an international DX, but what can you do?

Lemurion
10-09-2009, 10:19 AM
I looked at the list - and the more I look at it, the more I think there isn't a single overriding reason - but more likely a collection of reasons. I think we can all agree that Cuba and North Korea are probably for political reasons, and Canada is probably a special case. (I think Canadian rights issues are part of it, but I don't know for sure.)

AT&T's roaming agreements don't wash as a general reason, as the lack of a roaming agreement wouldn't preclude selling it without wireless access. I do know that some of the countries that do have it without wireless are ones that AT&T doesn't have data roaming agreements with (or at least didn't when I worked their International Wireless desk), and their international data roaming rates don't vary anywhere near as much as voice rates do.

So put me down on the wait and see side.

DixieGal
10-09-2009, 10:20 AM
EDIT: And it's not available in Dubai, unfortunately.
......
My inlaws are mostly in India and the Phillipines, so worries for me .....

I saw on the news all of the devastation in the Phillipines in the past week. Thoughts and prayers for the safety of your family and all of the Filipino members and their families during this terrible crisis.

neilmarr
10-09-2009, 10:45 AM
Whatever ... Why get in a tizz? I guess if potential customers in any excluded countries realise that they're not in the Kindle Club and feel strongly enough about that to complain in large numbers to Amazon and their local servers and demand their reader rights, everyone on the selling end will take notice and act as best and as swiftly as they commercially and technologically can. For interest earlier today, I wrote to an author pal of mine in Saudi this morning about the situation. Not only did he not give a damn as a writer or a reader ... he'd never even heard of Kindle. Meanwhile, my wife has just come back from work in Monaco (couple of miles away from where we live) and, it appears, some of the folks there she talked to today are miffed that, although they can buy Kindles as of Oct 19, they will not have wireless connectivity, unlike the rest of France. Neil

luqmaninbmore
10-09-2009, 10:46 AM
I saw on the news all of the devastation in the Phillipines in the past week. Thoughts and prayers for the safety of your family and all of the Filipino members and their families during this terrible crisis.

Thank you very much. My inlaws who live there were on a trip to India to visit family during the recent Eid al-Fitr holiday, so they were spared being caught in the tragedy.

Patricia
10-09-2009, 12:34 PM
Thanks for posting Amazon's response, Luqmaninbmore. It does look like a standard reply, and it's disappointing that they aren't able to supply reasons for their current marketing strategy. But perhaps these are confidential.
However, I'm sure that they have logged your comment. We also have reason to believe that their staff visit this forum occasionally. So they should now be aware of your hypothesis. Hopefully, Amazon may see that there is an unmet demand for their Kindles, which they would be foolish to ignore.

JayCeeEll
10-09-2009, 12:41 PM
It would be very interesting to see a list of the top 110 countries by sales and how this compares with the list of countries now supported by the "International Kindle".

I also wonder what percentage of US customers buy a Kindle and how this would be projected to international sales, given a fixed future supply of units.

pshrynk
10-09-2009, 12:55 PM
It would be very interesting to see a list of the top 110 countries by sales and how this compares with the list of countries now supported by the "International Kindle".

I also wonder what percentage of US customers buy a Kindle and how this would be projected to international sales, given a fixed future supply of units.
Amazon is notoriously silent on sales figures of the Kindle and books. It would be interesting, I just don't expect that we'll hear any time soon.

bminata
10-10-2009, 01:52 AM
Oh, please..

Yes it's not available in Indonesia and Malaysia (both muslim countries) but it's not available in the neighboring Singapore or Thailand (NOT muslim countries) either.

Please stop being such a paranoid.. I live in Indonesia - the country with the largest muslim population in the world, yet there are lots of people here who whenever something happened here (including the captures of terrorists) the first thing that enters their mind is "muslims are being opressed" - so I'm quite familiar with this kind of thought..

I tell ya: IT'S NOT TRUE :P


Greetings All,

I'm not trying to sound paranoid or anything, but I did notice that one thing that seems to bind together many of the countries in which the international Kindle will not be sold is that they are Muslim countries. The only Muslim dominated countries that I could find that could receive the Kindle are Albania and Bosnia, which are within Europe, and Tanzania which is in eastern Africa. It is not available for sale within the entire Arab world, even in countries with well-developed infrastructure such as the United Arab Emirates. India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and even Bhutan can receive it, but Pakistan and Bangladesh are excluded. Ethiopians can buy it, but their Muslim neighbours in Eritrea cannot. It is available in Russia and Mongolia, but not in the Central Asian Republics. It is available in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, but not Indonesia or Malaysia (to be fair, Thailand and Korea are excluded as well). I don't think this is due to potential censorship, given that it can be purchased in Myanmar, Bhutan (which has strict policies regarding external media), Russia, India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe all of which have issues with censorship. Am I rushing to judgement? I find it hard to believe that Pakistani telecoms are harder to deal with than those in India or Sri Lanka, or that the infrastructure of Morocco is lagging behind that of Mongolia. What do you all think?

GeoffC
10-10-2009, 06:52 AM
Amazon is notoriously silent on sales figures of the Kindle and books. It would be interesting, I just don't expect that we'll hear any time soon.

According to the Times newspaper (Thursday 8th October)

Kindle is Amazon's best-selling product.
Bezos expects sales of e-books to exceed those of physical books ; currently selling 48 kindle copies for every 100 equivalent pbook (5 months ago it was 35 per 100).
US e-reader sales 60% Amazon against 35% Sony.
e-book sales increased from $29.8m (jan-jun 2008) to $81.5m (jan-jun 2009) [world-wide or US not made clear].

Booksellers world-wide noticed e-versions of "The Lost Symbol" began to outstrip p-books within days.

In last paragraphs points made are :
format of books needs to be sorted (ePub v azw/prc - etc) confusing and frustrating customers.
Price of readers needs to reduce by at least half or they will remain a niche product.
Signs of tablet PC market developing (especially Apple) with more functionality and hence appeal.

zerospinboson
10-10-2009, 07:26 AM
That's not the case for electronics. They are mostly only sold within the USA on the Amazon.com site, only within the UK on the Amazon.co.uk site, and so on. I think it's a warranty issue.
Partially. Within Europe it mostly occurs because manufacturers know they can sell the same products at different prices in different countries (Pixmania does this a lot, refusing to sell products to people unless they have a postal address in the country the website is for, even though all of their products are shipped and sold from the same warehouses in France.)

vivlio
10-10-2009, 10:30 AM
Greetings All,

I'm not trying to sound paranoid or anything, but I did notice that one thing that seems to bind together many of the countries in which the international Kindle will not be sold is that they are Muslim countries. The only Muslim dominated countries that I could find that could receive the Kindle are Albania and Bosnia, which are within Europe, and Tanzania which is in eastern Africa. It is not available for sale within the entire Arab world, even in countries with well-developed infrastructure such as the United Arab Emirates. India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and even Bhutan can receive it, but Pakistan and Bangladesh are excluded. Ethiopians can buy it, but their Muslim neighbours in Eritrea cannot. It is available in Russia and Mongolia, but not in the Central Asian Republics. It is available in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, but not Indonesia or Malaysia (to be fair, Thailand and Korea are excluded as well). I don't think this is due to potential censorship, given that it can be purchased in Myanmar, Bhutan (which has strict policies regarding external media), Russia, India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe all of which have issues with censorship. Am I rushing to judgement? I find it hard to believe that Pakistani telecoms are harder to deal with than those in India or Sri Lanka, or that the infrastructure of Morocco is lagging behind that of Mongolia. What do you all think?

It's not available also in Zeta Reticuli, Mars and Vulcan.
Amazon, how racist of you!:alien: :alien::alien:
Andromedans will get kindle 2 through a third party deal.Lucky them...

ahi
10-10-2009, 01:54 PM
It's not available also in Zeta Reticuli, Mars and Vulcan.
Amazon, how racist of you!:alien: :alien::alien:
Andromedans will get kindle 2 through a third party deal.Lucky them...

Your post returned the thread to its former intellectual glory.

- Ahi

Alisa
10-10-2009, 02:44 PM
According to the Times newspaper (Thursday 8th October)

Kindle is Amazon's best-selling product.
Bezos expects sales of e-books to exceed those of physical books ; currently selling 48 kindle copies for every 100 equivalent pbook (5 months ago it was 35 per 100).
US e-reader sales 60% Amazon against 35% Sony.
e-book sales increased from $29.8m (jan-jun 2008) to $81.5m (jan-jun 2009) [world-wide or US not made clear].

I'm sorry but I'm going to be insufferably nitpicky. The Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/technology/companies/07amazon.html) actually said:
Mr. Bezos declined to offer specific information about Kindle sales. But he said Kindle titles were now 48 percent of total book sales in instances where Amazon sold both a digital and physical copy of a book. That was up from 35 percent last May, an increase Mr. Bezos called “astonishing.”

That's slightly different. If they had sold 48 ebooks per 100 pbooks, that would be 32%. That would mean out of 148 total books, 48 were ebooks and 100 were pbooks rather than 48 out of 100 total which is 48%. Sorry. I'm a dork. I can't help it.

Patricia
10-10-2009, 03:09 PM
That's slightly different. If they had sold 48 ebooks per 100 pbooks, that would be 32%. That would mean out of 148 total books, 48 were ebooks and 100 were pbooks rather than 48 out of 100 total which is 48%. Sorry. I'm a dork. I can't help it.

There's nothing wrong with accuracy, Alisa.

Phogg
10-10-2009, 04:28 PM
Your post returned the thread to its former intellectual glory.

- Ahi

... which would be the same intellectual glory the starting post imbued it with.

Rather appropriate, really.

Patricia
10-10-2009, 04:49 PM
Let's calm down for a moment. The original poster, Luq, raised a hypothesis, which wasn't entirely unfounded. It's been tested in subsequent posts. There's nothing wrong with that. Perhaps it might have been clearer if he had added a question mark to the thread title, but he explained his intentions. I don't really see the point of all the sarcasm.

recycledelectron
10-11-2009, 12:18 AM
Greetings All,

I'm not trying to sound paranoid or anything, but I did notice that one thing that seems to bind together many of the countries in which the international Kindle will not be sold is that they are Muslim countries. The only Muslim dominated countries that I could find that could receive the Kindle are Albania and Bosnia, which are within Europe, and Tanzania which is in eastern Africa. It is not available for sale within the entire Arab world, even in countries with well-developed infrastructure such as the United Arab Emirates. India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and even Bhutan can receive it, but Pakistan and Bangladesh are excluded. Ethiopians can buy it, but their Muslim neighbours in Eritrea cannot. It is available in Russia and Mongolia, but not in the Central Asian Republics. It is available in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, but not Indonesia or Malaysia (to be fair, Thailand and Korea are excluded as well). I don't think this is due to potential censorship, given that it can be purchased in Myanmar, Bhutan (which has strict policies regarding external media), Russia, India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe all of which have issues with censorship. Am I rushing to judgement? I find it hard to believe that Pakistani telecoms are harder to deal with than those in India or Sri Lanka, or that the infrastructure of Morocco is lagging behind that of Mongolia. What do you all think?


1. Companies can choose where they do business. I decline business from CA or NY, while accepting business from TX, and TN. It's just easier that way.

2. The worshipers of Muhammed demand the death of anyone who reads the wrong book. Take "The Stanic Verses." Maybe Amazon doesn't want to have their employees killed.

3. The workshipers of Muhammed demand the death penalty for a person of the wrong religous beliefs reads a book, such as a Chrisitan reading the Quoran and not converting to Islam. Maybe Amazon doesn't want to be forced to ask their customers religous preferences.

4. The worhipers of Muhammed demand that women not be allowed to read books their husbands disapprove of. Maybe Amazon doesn't want to have to check with their customers spouses before allowing them to buy a book.

Go ahead and jump on me. I've been sentenced to death by a fatwah because I read the Quoran and decided it was the work of a genocidal crazy person. I have been shot at because my vehicle was stopped in front of a mosque. My oil light came on, so I pulled over and checked the oil. After doing that, a few shots hit the tree next to me. My gradpa died as a result of the 9-11 attacks.

Andy

luqmaninbmore
10-11-2009, 01:18 AM
2 through 4 are simply factualy incorrect if applied to Islam; I don't know who these "worshippers of >uhammad " (SAW) are. Muslims worship no one but Allah. While the death penalty is continenced within Islamic Law, it is not applied for reading the wrong book or for not converting to Islam. The mosque you broke down in front of wouldn't have been in Iraq, would it? And you wouldn't have been in a military/paramilitary uniform, would you? My condolences for the loss of your grandfather; my grandmother died about a year ago and it still hurts me today.

whitearrow
10-11-2009, 01:45 AM
I think we can all agree that Cuba and North Korea are probably for political

There are trade embargoes on Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Iran and Syria (you can't send anything there, with very limited exceptions that don't apply here) and technology transfer laws that apply to the rest of the world. You can't legally ship an X-Box to some countries without an export license, and for some countries, the hassle of exporting computer hardware and software may simply be so great that it's not profitable.

All of which is part of why I continue to believe that some Amazon corporate anti-Muslim bias is behind this, as opposed to a whole host of legal and technological issues, is just silly.

AlexBell
10-11-2009, 02:12 AM
2 through 4 are simply factualy incorrect if applied to Islam; I don't know who these "worshippers of >uhammad " (SAW) are. Muslims worship no one but Allah. While the death penalty is continenced within Islamic Law, it is not applied for reading the wrong book or for not converting to Islam. The mosque you broke down in front of wouldn't have been in Iraq, would it? And you wouldn't have been in a military/paramilitary uniform, would you? My condolences for the loss of your grandfather; my grandmother died about a year ago and it still hurts me today.

Would that the gracious tone of your response was matched by some of the other posters on this thread.

Regards, Alex

m-reader
10-11-2009, 02:42 AM
Greetings All,

I'm not trying to sound paranoid or anything, but I did notice that one thing that seems to bind together many of the countries in which the international Kindle will not be sold is that they are Muslim countries. The only Muslim dominated countries that I could find that could receive the Kindle are Albania and Bosnia, which are within Europe, and Tanzania which is in eastern Africa. It is not available for sale within the entire Arab world, even in countries with well-developed infrastructure such as the United Arab Emirates. India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and even Bhutan can receive it, but Pakistan and Bangladesh are excluded. Ethiopians can buy it, but their Muslim neighbours in Eritrea cannot. It is available in Russia and Mongolia, but not in the Central Asian Republics. It is available in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, but not Indonesia or Malaysia (to be fair, Thailand and Korea are excluded as well). I don't think this is due to potential censorship, given that it can be purchased in Myanmar, Bhutan (which has strict policies regarding external media), Russia, India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe all of which have issues with censorship. Am I rushing to judgement? I find it hard to believe that Pakistani telecoms are harder to deal with than those in India or Sri Lanka, or that the infrastructure of Morocco is lagging behind that of Mongolia. What do you all think?

Paranoia with Capital P.
Occam's razor teaches us that the simplest explanation is almost always the right one. Your analysis is flawed in so many ways, it's not even funny.
Amazon would love to sell as many Kindle's as possible - to as many paying customers as possible. They are in it for the money, and that's the long and short of it.
Even without reading the Amazon explanation for non-availability in some countries I can tell you with a fair degree of certainty that this is due to copyright or network coverage issues.

m-reader
10-11-2009, 02:49 AM
1. Companies can choose where they do business. I decline business from CA or NY, while accepting business from TX, and TN. It's just easier that way.

2. The worshipers of Muhammed demand the death of anyone who reads the wrong book. Take "The Stanic Verses." Maybe Amazon doesn't want to have their employees killed.

3. The workshipers of Muhammed demand the death penalty for a person of the wrong religous beliefs reads a book, such as a Chrisitan reading the Quoran and not converting to Islam. Maybe Amazon doesn't want to be forced to ask their customers religous preferences.

4. The worhipers of Muhammed demand that women not be allowed to read books their husbands disapprove of. Maybe Amazon doesn't want to have to check with their customers spouses before allowing them to buy a book.

Go ahead and jump on me. I've been sentenced to death by a fatwah because I read the Quoran and decided it was the work of a genocidal crazy person. I have been shot at because my vehicle was stopped in front of a mosque. My oil light came on, so I pulled over and checked the oil. After doing that, a few shots hit the tree next to me. My gradpa died as a result of the 9-11 attacks.

Andy

Andy sorry to hear about your grandfather.

However, you together with the original poster should take a massive chill-pill.
World sucks, lots of bad things happen because of many things. Take your pick. Throw a rock in the sky, you'll hit someone guilty and all that stuff.
I have been personally persecuted by two flavours of Christians solely because I'm Muslim. That wasn't very pleasent at all.
These things however should teach us to overcome and build a better world for our kids.
WTR your being shot at while stopping by the mosque, that sucks. An episode of Top Gear comes to mind when Jeremy and Co stopped at a service stations someplace down south in the US. They got chased, abused and stoned by a bunch of crazies because they didn't like their silly cars.
Seriously guys ... This is an ebook forum.

Zealot
10-11-2009, 03:53 AM
I would suspect that it is a blend of reasons...

A lack of AT&T partner in the area, complexities regarding book copywrites and US bans on technology transfer all play a part.

For example, I know here in Israel Amazon (and most US companies) cannot ship any technology directly to consumers. That includes such things as DVDs. It may be a political question, a legal question, a free trade question or something else, it doesn't really matter.

Long and short is that the list of countries they do not ship Kindles to is not an anti-Muslim bias, or at least not unique to Muslims.

Z

WT Sharpe
10-11-2009, 10:04 AM
There's nothing wrong with accuracy, Alisa.

Unless you're planning a career in politics. :p

sahmad88
10-11-2009, 10:56 AM
I find this thread extremely disturbing......its bringing out te worst in some of us.

I couldn't agree more. Well said.

delphidb96
10-11-2009, 05:34 PM
Yes, this thread *is* disturbing. And well it should be. It is opening up a pus-filled sore of a topic - however, doing so allows the wound to be cleaned and healing treatments applied.

Still, the very premise of the original poster's comment shows an alarming trend to presume racism as the MAJOR DRIVING FORCE behind any corporation's actions. Yeah. Right. And next we'll be hearing that 2012 is the end of the universe.

Derek

Lemurion
10-11-2009, 06:05 PM
I find both the presumption of racism and its existence to be disturbing.

I'm also concerned by the trend to find a single (and often malign) root cause behind things, as I believe that's far too simplistic for the real world. I think the majority of things are far more complicated, and that you can ascribe far more to incompetence than to evil.

It's worth asking why so many of the countries which are not receiving the Kindle are majority-Muslim, but I don't think that justifies an immediate jump toward an "anti-Muslim" bias on Amazon's part. It could be rights issues, export controls, or some other factor we're not aware of.

Superlucky
10-11-2009, 06:14 PM
I'm also concerned by the trend to find a single (and often malign) root cause behind things, as I believe that's far too simplistic for the real world. I think the majority of things are far more complicated, and that you can ascribe far more to incompetence than to evil.

I also notice that many people seem to not be able to differentiate between correlative and causative relationships.

Phogg
10-12-2009, 02:16 AM
It's worth asking why so many of the countries which are not receiving the Kindle are majority-Muslim,

Before you waste more than 20 or 30 seconds that you can never get back doing that...

You might conceivably consider looking at a listing of all the countries on earth. Next see which countries have the Kindle and exclude those. Identify which of the remainder are primarily Muslim. Compare that to the non Muslim number.

Hint: The article that started the thread did not by the slightest stretch of the imagination list all the countries that do not have kindles, but did list more Muslim countries than non Muslim countries.

Hint 2: Amazon didn't make that list.

HansTWN
10-12-2009, 04:03 AM
Actually, I think the fact that so many Muslim countries are left out does show Amazon's respect for their cultures. Have you actually considered that the vast majority of books Amazon carries would not be welcomed there? If Amazon, at this point (without having special muslim bookstore) shoved all those books down their throats wouldn't they be accused of "cultural imperialism"?

gollu
10-12-2009, 04:32 AM
Here follows my opinion on the matter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGsHUfl9xEE

GeoffC
10-12-2009, 04:58 AM
I'm sorry but I'm going to be insufferably nitpicky. The Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/technology/companies/07amazon.html) actually said:


That's slightly different. If they had sold 48 ebooks per 100 pbooks, that would be 32%. That would mean out of 148 total books, 48 were ebooks and 100 were pbooks rather than 48 out of 100 total which is 48%. Sorry. I'm a dork. I can't help it.

There's nothing wrong with accuracy, Alisa.

My apologies for not making this clearer - my source was The Times, not the NYTimes .... and I was quoting from the paper version not the electronic one .... (pardonez moi)

GeoffC
10-12-2009, 05:00 AM
I find both the presumption of racism and its existence to be disturbing.



yes it even extends down to who likes cats and who likes dogs ..... (sorry)

HarryT
10-12-2009, 05:25 AM
Actually, I think the fact that so many Muslim countries are left out does show Amazon's respect for their cultures. Have you actually considered that the vast majority of books Amazon carries would not be welcomed there? If Amazon, at this point (without having special muslim bookstore) shoved all those books down their throats wouldn't they be accused of "cultural imperialism"?

Don't you think it's rather more likely to be due to the fact that Middle-Eastern countries use the Arabic alphabet, and the Kindle does not support right-to-left alphabets such as Arabic?

HansTWN
10-12-2009, 06:30 AM
Don't you think it's rather more likely to be due to the fact that Middle-Eastern countries use the Arabic alphabet, and the Kindle does not support right-to-left alphabets such as Arabic?

If that was the problem, they could still be selling English books.

whitearrow
10-12-2009, 03:51 PM
I googled the term "book censorship in arab countries" and found this very interesting report by the Rand Corporation (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG879.sum.pdf) (pdf).

From the summary:

Three major barriers confront the dissemination and consumption of Arabic literature. The first barrier is censorship, which is a significant problem in the Middle East. Nearly all Arab Middle East countries employ government censors. Censorship is often aimed at stopping the publication or distribution of content deemed politically, morally, or religiously sensitive. Religious institutions, such as al-Azhar, Cairoís center of Islamic learning, often assist government censors by recommending books to be banned. A second barrier is the small market for literary material in the Arab world. Book production and, presumably, reader consumption are relatively low in the Middle East in comparison to other regions with similar socioeconomic levels of development. One factor behind this low book-consumption rate is the regionís high rates of illiteracy, especially among the generations born before 1970. A final barrier is the poor internal distribution systems for books. This is compounded by the challenge of selling books across a vast number of countries all with their own censorship requirements, regulations, and tax codes.

All of these reasons, in various ways, provide rationales why Amazon either could not bring the Kindle to certain countries because of these barriers, or made a business decision that the potential profit was simply too low to justify the costs of doing so.

If any country insisted that every Kindle book go through a censorship review prior to being available in that particular country, do you blame Amazon for saying that doing business in that country probably isn't worth it, when you add that on top of the costs of the wireless service, the probable low rate of Kindle sales, etc.?

Patricia
10-12-2009, 04:50 PM
I googled the term "book censorship in arab countries" and found this very interesting report by the Rand Corporation (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG879.sum.pdf) (pdf).

From the summary:

Three major barriers confront the dissemination and consumption of Arabic literature. The first barrier is censorship, which is a significant problem in the Middle East. Nearly all Arab Middle East countries employ government censors. Censorship is often aimed at stopping the publication or distribution of content deemed politically, morally, or religiously sensitive. Religious institutions, such as al-Azhar, Cairoís center of Islamic learning, often assist government censors by recommending books to be banned. A second barrier is the small market for literary material in the Arab world. Book production and, presumably, reader consumption are relatively low in the Middle East in comparison to other regions with similar socioeconomic levels of development. One factor behind this low book-consumption rate is the regionís high rates of illiteracy, especially among the generations born before 1970. A final barrier is the poor internal distribution systems for books. This is compounded by the challenge of selling books across a vast number of countries all with their own censorship requirements, regulations, and tax codes.

All of these reasons, in various ways, provide rationales why Amazon either could not bring the Kindle to certain countries because of these barriers, or made a business decision that the potential profit was simply too low to justify the costs of doing so.

If any country insisted that every Kindle book go through a censorship review prior to being available in that particular country, do you blame Amazon for saying that doing business in that country probably isn't worth it, when you add that on top of the costs of the wireless service, the probable low rate of Kindle sales, etc.?

Though the Egyptian Bibliotheca Alexandrina maintains the only mirror of The Internet Archive; which contains a fair number of secular and anti-religious texts.

weateallthepies
10-12-2009, 05:31 PM
I also notice that many people seem to not be able to differentiate between correlative and causative relationships.

and some light relief...

http://xkcd.com/552/

:D

tompe
10-12-2009, 07:24 PM
and some light relief...

http://xkcd.com/552/

:D

That one is brilliant.

ahi
10-12-2009, 11:52 PM
... which would be the same intelectual glory the starting post imbued it with.

Rather approppriate, really.

Let's calm down for a moment. The original poster, Luq, raised a hypothesis, which wasn't entirely unfounded. It's been tested in subsequent posts. There's nothing wrong with that. Perhaps it might have been clearer if he had added a question mark to the thread title, but he explained his intentions. I don't really see the point of all the sarcasm.

- Ahi

luqmaninbmore
10-13-2009, 10:07 AM
I googled the term "book censorship in arab countries" and found this very interesting report by the Rand Corporation (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG879.sum.pdf) (pdf).

From the summary:

Three major barriers confront the dissemination and consumption of Arabic literature. The first barrier is censorship, which is a significant problem in the Middle East. Nearly all Arab Middle East countries employ government censors. Censorship is often aimed at stopping the publication or distribution of content deemed politically, morally, or religiously sensitive. Religious institutions, such as al-Azhar, Cairoís center of Islamic learning, often assist government censors by recommending books to be banned. A second barrier is the small market for literary material in the Arab world. Book production and, presumably, reader consumption are relatively low in the Middle East in comparison to other regions with similar socioeconomic levels of development. One factor behind this low book-consumption rate is the regionís high rates of illiteracy, especially among the generations born before 1970. A final barrier is the poor internal distribution systems for books. This is compounded by the challenge of selling books across a vast number of countries all with their own censorship requirements, regulations, and tax codes.

All of these reasons, in various ways, provide rationales why Amazon either could not bring the Kindle to certain countries because of these barriers, or made a business decision that the potential profit was simply too low to justify the costs of doing so.

If any country insisted that every Kindle book go through a censorship review prior to being available in that particular country, do you blame Amazon for saying that doing business in that country probably isn't worth it, when you add that on top of the costs of the wireless service, the probable low rate of Kindle sales, etc.?

On the issue of illiteracy, I would like to provide some context. The local dialect (3amiyya) in the Arab countries can vary quite markedly from written, literary Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic, Modern Literary Arabic, Media Arabic, etc. derived from Fus7a or classical Arabic). As a result, literacy is not a simple matter of learning the alphabet and then applying it to the language that you speak in daily life. There are substantial pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical differences between MSA and, say, Moroccan dialect. These are considerable hurdles in the path to literacy. The Western North African dialects, in particular, are, according to some scholars, on the path to becoming distinct languages, leading to the phenomena known as diglossia, where there is a split between written and vernacular forms of the language.

Penforhire
10-13-2009, 12:29 PM
That sounds similar to Ebonics in the USA. Literacy is the result of education no matter where you are in the world. More education gives rise to more literacy and speaking in more-or-less the proper form of the language. Yes, languages change over time but not at the pace suggested by the speech of illiterates.

ahi
10-13-2009, 12:42 PM
That sounds similar to Ebonics in the USA. Literacy is the result of education no matter where you are in the world. More education gives rise to more literacy and speaking in more-or-less the proper form of the language. Yes, languages change over time but not at the pace suggested by the speech of illiterates.

I imagine it is less like Ebonics--whose arguable cousin Patois is rightly receiving increasingly more serious attention as a separate and unique dialect--and more like Cantonese.

It's a case of people speaking languages that, for cultural reasons, are never written... i.e.: Cantonese people (unless they actually learned to *speak* Mandarin) only speak Cantonese and only read/write Hanzi based on Mandarin.

Another good comparison might be Europeans speaking one language, but writing only in French or Latin. Many Europeans countries' *official* (i.e.: government produced), and often also private, written historical records are almost entirely in Latin until fairly late in history... because those who wrote rarely or never did so in the country's native language.

- Ahi

BlackVoid
10-14-2009, 06:45 AM
Any country without the Kindle is lucky, because people will check out competing products that are much better.

HansTWN
10-14-2009, 09:53 AM
I imagine it is less like Ebonics--whose arguable cousin Patois is rightly receiving increasingly more serious attention as a separate and unique dialect--and more like Cantonese.

It's a case of people speaking languages that, for cultural reasons, are never written... i.e.: Cantonese people (unless they actually learned to *speak* Mandarin) only speak Cantonese and only read/write Hanzi based on Mandarin.

Another good comparison might be Europeans speaking one language, but writing only in French or Latin. Many Europeans countries' *official* (i.e.: government produced), and often also private, written historical records are almost entirely in Latin until fairly late in history... because those who wrote rarely or never did so in the country's native language.

- Ahi

A little off topic, but Hanzi are not really based on Mandarin, they fit any other dialect just as well as Mandarin. The characters are just pronounced differently, for Cantonese you sometimes use a slightly different syntax and some additional characters, that are not used in Mandarin. I think you really shouldn't call the Chinese dialects dialects. They are really different languages, in many cases even basic things like the numbers one to ten are totally different. And unless you have studied them, the ones I call "languages" are totally incomprehensible to a Mandarin speaker. Italian and Spanish are a lot closer than Cantonese and Mandarin.

ahi
10-14-2009, 09:56 AM
A little off topic, but Hanzi are not really based on Mandarin, they fit any other dialect just as well as Mandarin. The characters are just pronounced differently, for Cantonese you sometimes use a slightly different syntax and some additional characters, that are not used in Mandarin. I think you really shouldn't call the Chinese dialects dialects. They are really different languages, in many cases even basic things like the numbers one to ten are totally different. And unless you have studied them, the ones I call "languages" are totally incomprehensible to a Mandarin speaker. Italian and Spanish are a lot closer than Cantonese and Mandarin.

I'm aware of Cantonese and Mandarin being different languages. Is Cantonese widely written though? My understanding was that most Chinese people (regardless of whether they spoke or easily undestood spoken Mandarin) wrote "Mandarin Hanzi" if you will, and that writing Cantonese with Hanzi was done but was the exception rather than the rule.

Is this not the case, or an oversimplification?

- Ahi

HansTWN
10-14-2009, 10:13 AM
The Hanzi are the same everywhere -- but they are not connected to Mandarin. So "Mandarin Hanzi" is a misnomer, it must be "Chinese Hanzi" (since the Han 漢 actually stands for the Han people that is, of course, repetitive). Mandarin really is only the dialect of the Beijing/Tianjin region. Hanzi are covering all of China. Hanzi were historically the only way to communicate for Chinese from different regions, before Mandarin was taught in schools all over the country. Every character is pronounced differently by a Cantonese speaker than the same character is pronounced by a Mandarin speaker, but the meaning is the same (quite often there are similarities in pronunciation but not always). Chinese characters are symbols, and every Chinese dialect/language affixes a different pronounciation to each character. Every Chinese can read 一 二 三 and knows it means 1,2,3. But in Mandarin it will be pronounced "Yi Er San"; in Cantonese "Yat Yi Sam" and in Hokklo/Taiwanese "Ji Neng Sa". In writing all 3 languages are mostly the same, except for some of the differences I pointed out. Remember, the characters are not phonetic symbols.

People in Hong Kong have created a number of special characters that only they use to cover some local expressions. Some grammatical constructions are different. So if a Mandarin speaker reads a HK newspaper he/she has no problems understanding it, it just may seem a little strange sometimes. Because the paper will be written "in Cantonese".

Some Chinese dialects actually only are dialects (take Sichuanese, for example). The pronounciation is a little off. The tones differ sometimes, they have some unique local vocabulary, but a Mandarin speaker will do fine. After a day or two in the region you can get almost everything when overhearing locals' conversations.

ahi
10-14-2009, 10:29 AM
Hmmm... isn't this article (http://pinyin.info/readings/mair/taiwanese.html) saying something closer to what I suggested? (Albeit not going quite as far perhaps.)

EDIT: Also: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_Chinese)

Cantonese is unique among non-Mandarin regional languages in having a written colloquial standard

- Ahi

dragonbone
10-14-2009, 10:56 AM
Greetings All,

I don't think this is due to potential censorship, given that it can be purchased in Myanmar, Bhutan (which has strict policies regarding external media), Russia, India, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe all of which have issues with censorship.
I wasn't aware of issues with censorship with literature in Zimbabwe. (Local freedom of the press against the government is probably a seperate issue altogether).
I think one can buy and/or read any normal book - that is of course if a bookshop or library has either bothered to import it or was able to afford to import it. There are no strange or unusual bans or whatever on importing books. The only problem I can think of is affordability,since Zimbabwe has (I think) the highest inflation rate in the world.

HansTWN
10-14-2009, 11:05 AM
Ahi, that article contains quite a bit of nonsense. You cannot write Taiwanese in "bopomofo", only Mandarin. You can write Taiwanese phonetically using the "TongYong PinYin", just as you can write Mandarin in that PinYin version or the regular PinYin. But the regular written language of Taiwanese, Cantonese and every other Chinese language is Hanzi.

"Cantonese is unique among non-Mandarin regional languages in having a written colloquial standard" -- I am sure what he is referring to is exactly what I have pointed out. Some special characters unique to Cantonese and sometimes a different syntax. An example (not a very nice one, but it will suffice) would be:

Mandarin "我把這個給你" "Wo ba zhe ge gei ni" Wo = I; Zhe ge = this thing, Gei = give, Ni = You. The use of "Ba" is a special construction needed in Mandarin when forming this sentence.

Cantonese "我給這個你" "Wo gei zhe ge ni" (Mandarin pronunciation of these characters). Actually most Cantonese speakers carry this over into Mandarin, but in Mandarin it is wrong. Sometimes different words are used. In Mandarin "電梯" "Dian Ti" stands for both escalator and elevator. In HK they use the same for escalator, but "升降機" "Sheng Jiang Ji" (literally = the machine that goes up and down) for elevator.

But it is written in Hanzi and can be easily understood by any Chinese reader (even by some 80 year-old in Taiwan who grew up learning only Taiwanese and Japanese, never even learning Mandarin). Just a few minor differences, but more pronounced than for other Chinese languages. Chinese when they communicate in writing always communicate in Hanzi , no matter what dialect they use. But when they read it out loud it becomes Cantonese, Taiwanese or whatever.

ahi
10-14-2009, 12:07 PM
But it is written in Hanzi and can be easily understood by any Chinese reader (even by some 80 year-old in Taiwan who grew up learning only Taiwanese and Japanese, never even learning Mandarin). Just a few minor differences, but more pronounced than for other Chinese languages. Chinese when they communicate in writing always communicate in Hanzi , no matter what dialect they use. But when they read it out loud it becomes Cantonese, Taiwanese or whatever.

Thanks, Hans. Sometimes it seems the more I learn the less I understand this subject. ;)

Is that different then from somebody trying to learn to read Hanzi by only knowing the English meaning of the characters and character combinations, along with idioms of course? Or with some of the Chinese languages/dialects is it basically somewhat like that?

- Ahi

luqmaninbmore
10-14-2009, 03:38 PM
I wasn't aware of issues with censorship with literature in Zimbabwe. (Local freedom of the press against the government is probably a seperate issue altogether).
I think one can buy and/or read any normal book - that is of course if a bookshop or library has either bothered to import it or was able to afford to import it. There are no strange or unusual bans or whatever on importing books. The only problem I can think of is affordability,since Zimbabwe has (I think) the highest inflation rate in the world.

What inspired my comment was the recently lifted ban on the BBC and the crackdowns on the Opposition which occurred before the recent political rapprochement. The latter may have allayed Amazon's concerns, if there were any to begin with.

Steve's Web Host
10-14-2009, 04:57 PM
I am sure Amazon would gladly take any Muslim's money, if they could!

Bingo!

Daithi
10-14-2009, 06:07 PM
P.S. Just saw your post above. You may have kind of a point regarding the more orthodox Muslim countries (god forbid someone downloads The Satanic Verses from Amazon,) but I would still guess it may have to do more with publishing rights and restrictions.

The Satanic Verses is not available at Amazon. Maybe they're also anti-anti-Muslim.

kindlekitten
10-14-2009, 06:11 PM
The Satanic Verses is not available at Amazon. Maybe they're also anti-anti-Muslim.

yeah it is. you just can't get it for the Kindle.

HansTWN
10-14-2009, 06:36 PM
Thanks, Hans. Sometimes it seems the more I learn the less I understand this subject. ;)

Is that different then from somebody trying to learn to read Hanzi by only knowing the English meaning of the characters and character combinations, along with idioms of course? Or with some of the Chinese languages/dialects is it basically somewhat like that?

- Ahi

Your old favorite subject. I never said that it is impossible to learn written Chinese without learning spoken Chinese. I just believe that if you miss the sound component you will find it difficult to remember. And it makes little sense to me, since you can learn the spoken language in months, but it will take many years to master the written language! And speaking it will make it much easier to learn and remember the writing. So the whole matter really doesn't make sense, if you want to learn the Chinese written language, learn both at the same time.

Just for your info, the other Chinese languages are more difficult to learn than Mandarin. The main reason they did pick Mandarin as the standard is because it is easy to learn.

ahi
10-14-2009, 07:26 PM
Your old favorite subject. I never said that it is impossible to learn written Chinese without learning spoken Chinese. I just believe that if you miss the sound component you will find it difficult to remember. And it makes little sense to me, since you can learn the spoken language in months, but it will take many years to master the written language! And speaking it will make it much easier to learn and remember the writing. So the whole matter really doesn't make sense, if you want to learn the Chinese written language, learn both at the same time.

Just for your info, the other Chinese languages are more difficult to learn than Mandarin. The main reason they did pick Mandarin as the standard is because it is easy to learn.

I'm interested in the question as a hypothetical matter, not as a practical one, Hans.

The reason I brought it up is because it doesn't jive with me that (1) you say that the written stuff has different (basically arbitrary) pronunciation depending on the reader's native language/dialect, but (2) you also suggest that it would be problematic to have the arbitrary sounds be the Hanzi characters' English meanings. Do you just feel so because of the existing set of associations those English words would have (that wouldn't always be compatible with the semantic cover of the Chinese concepts) or am I missing something bigger than that? (Or am I altogether misinterpreting what you wrote in one or another message?)

- Ahi

HansTWN
10-14-2009, 07:59 PM
I'm interested in the question as a hypothetical matter, not as a practical one, Hans.

The reason I brought it up is because it doesn't jive with me that (1) you say that the written stuff has different (basically arbitrary) pronunciation depending on the reader's native language/dialect, but (2) you also suggest that it would be problematic to have the arbitrary sounds be the Hanzi characters' English meanings. Do you just feel so because of the existing set of associations those English words would have (that wouldn't always be compatible with the semantic cover of the Chinese concepts) or am I missing something bigger than that? (Or am I altogether misinterpreting what you wrote in one or another message?)

- Ahi

The main obstacle I see is the sentence structure, grammar. Let us say you assign an English word to every character. But the way sentences are formed is totally different. No tenses (you, for example, indicate past tense by adding a little word 了LE or 過了GUO LE or just simply yesterday). Verbs never change. You have no cases, no conjunctive (again, just denoted by a adding a simple word). Word order is different and arranging the same words in different order can give a totally different meaning. You have counters (like one PAIR of pants in English) for everything. Most characters have many different meanings. Some characters (like the above 過 GUO and 了LE), have no English word equivalent at all.

So, to sum it up. All Chinese languages are structurally almost the same and well suited for using Chinese characters, that is why you have the situation as explained. Japanese is not, and that is why they have Hiragana to write what cannot be expressed by the characters (usually because of the totally different Japanese grammar). It is not possible to write English in Chinese characters, but as a purely academic excercise, yes, it is possible to learn Chinese writing without learning spoken Chinese. It just makes no sense at all to do so. To learn writing and understand the meaning of the whole sentence, you have to be totally immersed in the language.

You pointed out some scholars who did this, they could read Chinese but could not speak it. My guess is that they actually could speak it, but that their pronunciation was very bad and people didn't understand them -- so that they were embarrassed to use the spoken language. And they also weren't able to pick up the tones and other matters to be able to understand a native speaker. So it must have been a matter of knowing the spoken language but not having mastered a good enough pronunciation to be able to communicate in verbal form. Pronunciation is a much greater obstacle in Sinotibetan languages than in European ones! And people tend to laugh at foreigners who get it wrong. The scholars probably didn't want to subject themselves to such ridicule and therefore pretended they couldn't speak at all.

ahi
10-14-2009, 08:04 PM
The main obstacle I see is the sentence structure, grammar. Let us say you assign an English word to every character. But the way sentences are formed is totally different. No tenses (you, for example, indicate past tense by adding a little word 了LE or 過了GUO LE or just simply yesterday). Verbs never change. You have no cases, no conjunctive (again, just denoted by a adding a simple word). Word order is different and arranging the same words in different order can give a totally different meaning. You have counters (like one PAIR of pants in English) for everything. Most characters have many different meanings. Some characters (like the above 過 GUO and 了LE), have no English word equivalent at all.

So, to sum it up. All Chinese languages are structurally almost the same and well suited for using Chinese characters, that is why you have the situation as explained. Japanese is not, and that is why they have Hiragana to write what cannot be expressed by the characters (usually because of the totally different Japanese grammar). It is not possible to write English in Chinese characters, but as a purely academic excercise, yes, it is possible to learn Chinese writing without learning spoken Chinese. It just makes no sense at all to do so. To learn writing and understand the meaning of the whole sentence, you have to be totally immersed in the language.

You pointed out some scholars who did this, they could read Chinese but could not speak it. My guess is that they actually could speak it, but that their pronunciation was very bad and people didn't understand them -- so that they were embarrassed to use the spoken language. And they also weren't able to pick up the tones and other matters to be able to understand a native speaker. So it must have been a matter of knowing the spoken language but not having mastered a good enough pronunciation to be able to communicate in verbal form. Pronunciation is a much greater obstacle in Sinotibetan languages than in European ones! And people tend to laugh at foreigners who get it wrong. The scholars probably didn't want to subject themselves to such ridicule and therefore pretended they couldn't speak at all.

Thanks, Hans! That makes perfect sense.

You have disabused me of some more of my Sinitic misconceptions.

- Ahi

HansTWN
10-14-2009, 08:08 PM
My suggestion for you is, learn an oriental language. It will be a very enlightening experience. Language is culture, and it will teach you a whole new way of thinking.

Daithi
10-14-2009, 10:59 PM
yeah it is. you just can't get it for the Kindle.

Oops, your right. It's not available for the Kindle. :)

ardeegee
10-14-2009, 11:29 PM
These recent posts are making me think of the Chinese Room:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room

Not that I'm claiming that you don't all pass the Turing test...

kindlekitten
10-15-2009, 12:18 AM
These recent posts are making me think of the Chinese Room:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room

Not that I'm claiming that you don't all pass the Turing test...

dood! I gotta tell ya'... sometimes I have a REALLY hard time reading your posts

ahi
10-20-2009, 09:46 AM
Just had a few more thoughts, Hans...

---

write

No tenses (you, for example, indicate past tense by adding a little word 了LE or 過了GUO LE or just simply yesterday).

did write
will write

Verbs never change. You have no cases, no conjunctive (again, just denoted by a adding a simple word).

I write
you write
he/she/it writes
we write
you (all) write
they write


I did write
you did write
he/she/it did write
we did write
you (all) did write
they did write

I will write
you will write
he/she/it will write
we will write
you (all) will write
they will write

If one is not obliged to be 100% grammatically correct and/or elegant, English isn't necessarily wildly different from what you describe.

Some characters (like the above 過 GUO and 了LE), have no English word equivalent at all.

Why not read "了LE - did" and "過 GUO 了LE - have had"?

---

Without meaning to suggest that it would be a sensible idea to do, I increasingly think that Hanzi could be learned reasonably by assigning (context-dependent) English meaning(s) to characters, without Chinese language pronunciation.

The result would not be fine Shakespearean (or even modern) English, but a sort of very un-English-like English that speakers of western languages would probably perceive pidgin-like... but it does seem to me it ought to be comprehensible enough.

The task ought to be even easier in other languages whose grammatical structure is more similar (as you yourself alluded).

Also, you wrote earlier:

Sure you could, but you never would get past words to whole sentences. The languages are too different. Let us take a whole sentence "Ma, ni hao"
"媽, 你好" Three simple words. Mother, you, and good. In this order it means "Mother, hello". Next up, "Ni ma hao""你媽好" Now it means, "Your mother is good" (better style would be "你的媽很好", before someone corrects me!, but still it makes perfect sense like this, too). And there is "你好,媽?" "Are you ok, mother?". Again, before any rebuttal comes, "你還好,媽?" or "你好不好,媽?", would be better.

I actually don't see the problem...

你 - "you"
好 - "good"
媽 - "mother"

你媽好 - "you-mother good" (Your mother is well.)
Take the first two characters to form a unit, and it's perfectly clear.

媽,你好 - "mother, you good" (Mother, hello.)
This is not all that bewildering a colloquialism. If you added a question mark, it would practically be English slang.

你好,媽? - "you good, mother?" (Are you ok, mother?)
This *is* English slang.

Or even the more proper form you noted:

你好不好,媽? - "you good not good, mother?"
But for the lack of an "or" that is implied well enough, this is also something entirely intuitive.

The biggest problem I foresee to trying to remain non-Chinese-phonetic is with names. Names that you are supposed to recognize, that is.

Hard to turn "卡尔扎伊" into "Karzai" without knowing the Mandarin pronunciation of the first three characters... albeit, without additional context, I suspect it is difficult to turn it into "Karzai" even if you do know the pronunciation.

But it wouldn't be a problem with names you did not need to immediately associate with a western name... assuming you could accept that Hanzi written names are weird in their own unique way.

Anyways... like I said, I find this interesting mostly as a thought experiment in what is possible.

- Ahi

AlexBell
10-21-2009, 05:03 AM
Without meaning to suggest that it would be a sensible idea to do, I increasingly think that Hanzi could be learned reasonably by assigning (context-dependent) English meaning(s) to characters, without Chinese language pronunciation.

- Ahi

Is there a MobileRead award for the biggest drift off topic on a thread?

If not, I think there should be.

Regards, Alex

pshrynk
10-21-2009, 12:05 PM
That would be the Off Topic Thread, which is mostly topic drift.

CleverClothe
10-21-2009, 05:41 PM
That would be the Off Topic Thread, which is mostly topic drift.

That would be on topic. The topic of the thread was changing the topic.

pshrynk
10-21-2009, 05:51 PM
That's true.

MovieBird
10-21-2009, 05:54 PM
yeah it is. you just can't get it for the Kindle.

What I find aggravating, is that you can't put a Kindle copy on your wish-list. So, I have a ton of paperback books on my Amazon wish-list, which I end up purchasing elsewhere to avoid DRM.

kindlekitten
10-21-2009, 06:26 PM
What I find aggravating, is that you can't put a Kindle copy on your wish-list. So, I have a ton of paperback books on my Amazon wish-list, which I end up purchasing elsewhere to avoid DRM.

there are quite a few things not on Kindle that are frustrating/irritating. I had started reading a George R.R. Martin series a ways back and for whatever reasons, all of the books took a hike before I could read them (or I did). I just re-purchased them for my Kindle knowing full well that it is only the first 4 or 6 or somesuch of the set. I'm not sure what I'll do when I come to the end of these... fret?

neilmarr
10-22-2009, 04:11 AM
I've been happy with my Sony -- so I've emptied my Amazon treebook wishlist. Even if I had a Kindle, I don't think the Amazon store wishlist system has an ebook option yet. Hoots. Neil

MattP
03-15-2010, 02:41 AM
I have just noticed this while browsing through the countries that Kindle is shipped and Kindle ebooks can be downloaded. Many of the countries such as Canada that are listed here as non-available can received Kindles. However, the situation with Muslim countries other than Albania and Bosnia still hold. The entire Muslim world is 1.6 billion with many rich, secular, democratic, and English-literate countries. I can understand why Iran is excluded because of US sanctions but what explains the absence of Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt among others. None of these countries are in the list. Israel and S. Korea is listed as no-shipping but ebook downloadable country. So no Kindles to them but they can buy kindle ebooks. this is not true for Muslims. I see this a bad image for the company. I emailed amazon asking for clarification and will send you if I receive an explanation. Even though I am based in the United States, I will not do business with amazon if there is no clear explanation for this odd situation. Maybe it is not the company policy as it is possible to buy physical books from amazon shipped to many of Muslim countries, a fact that refutes many of the culture-based arguments listed here. but it is our right to know why amazon excludes Muslim nations when the book is electronic.

sabredog
03-15-2010, 03:38 AM
That is a big assumption really. There are a great deal of ebooks that are geographically restricted that Australian residents cannot buy for instance. Do I assume that that is because I drive a car on the opposite side to US drivers or that I put the "u" in colour I am targeted for exclusion?

As mentioned many times on MR, ebook restrictions affect everyone and Amazon or publishers would assuredly not deliberately target any group of people for exclusion religious or otherwise. Geographic restrictions are purely distribution based (outdated business practices or not), not application of religious persecution.

HansTWN
03-15-2010, 04:27 AM
I have just noticed this while browsing through the countries that Kindle is shipped and Kindle ebooks can be downloaded. Many of the countries such as Canada that are listed here as non-available can received Kindles. However, the situation with Muslim countries other than Albania and Bosnia still hold. The entire Muslim world is 1.6 billion with many rich, secular, democratic, and English-literate countries. I can understand why Iran is excluded because of US sanctions but what explains the absence of Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt among others. None of these countries are in the list. Israel and S. Korea is listed as no-shipping but ebook downloadable country. So no Kindles to them but they can buy kindle ebooks. this is not true for Muslims. I see this a bad image for the company. I emailed amazon asking for clarification and will send you if I receive an explanation. Even though I am based in the United States, I will not do business with amazon if there is no clear explanation for this odd situation. Maybe it is not the company policy as it is possible to buy physical books from amazon shipped to many of Muslim countries, a fact that refutes many of the culture-based arguments listed here. but it is our right to know why amazon excludes Muslim nations when the book is electronic.

I think you are looking at this the wrong way. Actually what you should be considering is how many of these very conservative countries would like their citizens to have access to Kindle ebooks? The governments and major parts of Muslim societies would be deeply offended. I am sure Amazon would be more than happy to take their money, if they could.

K-Thom
03-15-2010, 04:57 AM
Sure, but shouldn't this be easy for Amazon to clarify or explain?

"We would like to sell to these countries but
a.) aren't allowed to due to contractual terms / jurisdictional issues
b.) consider local censorship a grave issue for our readers
c.) simply didn't think about it yet"

Or won't AT&T provide coverage for those countries?

lene1949
03-15-2010, 05:19 AM
Amazon is in it for the money... not for any political reasons.... They're a business - here to make money...

The fact that I can't buy certain books from Amazon is due to the publishers, not Amazon itself.

HansTWN
03-15-2010, 06:07 AM
Sure, but shouldn't this be easy for Amazon to clarify or explain?

"We would like to sell to these countries but
a.) aren't allowed to due to contractual terms / jurisdictional issues
b.) consider local censorship a grave issue for our readers
c.) simply didn't think about it yet"

Or won't AT&T provide coverage for those countries?

Explaining that local censorship is a grave issue again might offend a lot of people, too. Think about Singapore. How can they win, whatever they say, someone will pounce on them. Keeping silent may be the best option.

astra
03-15-2010, 07:59 AM
Just another troll.
He wants to incite the flame. 1 post and in such topic.
Ignore him please.

Patricia
03-15-2010, 08:55 AM
I don't know that we can be sure about that, Astra. It's also true that new members join because they want to give their views on controversial issues, and it prompts them to stop lurking.

astra
03-15-2010, 08:58 AM
I don't know that we can be sure about that, Astra. It's also true that new members join because they want to give their views on controversial issues, and it prompts them to stop lurking.

If you honestly believe in it :blink:
Whatever...

icemncmth
03-15-2010, 08:58 AM
I guess Amazon hates country people...my mom lives out in the country. She could buy a Kindle but she wouldn't be able to download books!..No internet no Cell coverage most of the time...

HorridRedDog
03-15-2010, 09:05 AM
The problem may be with what could be inside.

Harlequin Romances
:eek::eek::eek::eek:

Has anyone checked to see if ANY ereaders are allowed in Muslim countries?

Duiker
03-15-2010, 09:52 AM
Everyoone, please stop replying to this thread so it can die in peace and we can get back to the business of e-readers and not personal biases

DaleDe
03-15-2010, 10:08 AM
The problem may be with what could be inside.

Harlequin Romances
:eek::eek::eek::eek:

Has anyone checked to see if ANY ereaders are allowed in Muslim countries?

I would agree that Censorship could play a role in releasing eBooks but there are eBook Readers in Turkey. Check Walkbook in our wiki. Of course it was done by a local company.

Dale

MattP
03-15-2010, 02:37 PM
yes of course, many of these countries have ebook readers. plus, many people writing here suffer from a seriously flawed perception of Muslim countries. They associate them too much with Taliban. It would be the same thing if Muslims take February 2010 issue of National Geographic and conclude from the story that all Americans marry 10 women and have 250 grandchildren.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/polygamists/anderson-text
Many of the countries left out have good infrastructure and liberal economic systems. think of Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain in the Arab world, Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Central Asian republics, etc. Can you put them in the same category of countries with Myanmar where kindle can be ordered and ebooks downloaded.
Now looking at the map of kindle availability, I am puzzled to see that there is a strong correlation between no-kindle and Muslim majority. I want to understand this and know if amazon attempted to include those countries in the Muslim world but they did not want it.
I received a response from amazon customer service, which basically stated that they forwarded my response to kindle department.



I think you are looking at this the wrong way. Actually what you should be considering is how many of these very conservative countries would like their citizens to have access to Kindle ebooks? The governments and major parts of Muslim societies would be deeply offended. I am sure Amazon would be more than happy to take their money, if they could.

MattP
03-15-2010, 02:41 PM
Muslim world is not a geographic term. it expands from Morocco to Indonesia. Turkey is in Europe, Egypt in Africa, Pakistan in South Asia, Indonesia in Southeast Asia. in each of these geographical units, other countries are included. so your argument is not true.

luqmaninbmore
03-15-2010, 02:51 PM
The problem may be with what could be inside.

Harlequin Romances
:eek::eek::eek::eek:

Has anyone checked to see if ANY ereaders are allowed in Muslim countries?

Well, given that there are several posters from Saudi, I think the answer would be yes. Muslim countries are extremely diverse socially, economically, politically, and culturally. While you do have socially conservative absolute monarchies such as Saudi, you also have secular democracies such as Turkey and Indonesia. Pakistan and Bangladesh are very similar to India in many respects (political culture, level of economic development, social norms, etc.); it is extremely odd that India and Nepal have the Kindle but former countries do not. I could understand that there is a limitation on the Kindle's ability to display right-to-left script which would explain the absence from the Arab and Israeli markets. But why would Indonesia and Malaysia be left out? Why would Turkey be left out? Pakistan and Bangladesh are both huge markets for English-language books. When I went to Lahore, there was an English medium score on every corner. I just would like to know what Amazon's reasoning is in not entering this market. I don't know of any argument that would apply to Pakistan that wouldn't apply to India as well.

Luqman

Lemurion
03-15-2010, 03:09 PM
I still think there are multiple reasons - though there is one thought that does leap to mind.

It might have to do with cover images, in that as I understand it there is a strong bias against if not prohibition of representational art in Islam. I'm not sure of the details, but I've heard enough about it that I'm sure there's at least some truth in the basic idea. Maybe they decided not to extend to Islamic countries because of concern about that prohibition and are involved in researching it on a case-by-case basis.

I don't know for sure, but I think that's one possibility.

MattP
03-15-2010, 04:36 PM
cover images are everywhere in bookstores and newsstands. in many of them, cover images of magazines are much more liberal than the ones in the United States.

representational art in Islam while traditionally discouraged still took place several hundred years ago in the form of miniatures.

an example for a miniature from Iran:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saki_-_Reza_Abbasi_-_Moraqqa%E2%80%99-e_Golshan_1609_Golestan_Palace.jpg

an example from the Ottoman Empire:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Murat_IV_with_dishes.jpg


I still think there are multiple reasons - though there is one thought that does leap to mind.

It might have to do with cover images, in that as I understand it there is a strong bias against if not prohibition of representational art in Islam. I'm not sure of the details, but I've heard enough about it that I'm sure there's at least some truth in the basic idea. Maybe they decided not to extend to Islamic countries because of concern about that prohibition and are involved in researching it on a case-by-case basis.

I don't know for sure, but I think that's one possibility.

HorridRedDog
03-15-2010, 08:15 PM
....

Pakistan and Bangladesh are both huge markets for English-language books. When I went to Lahore, there was an English medium score(store?) on every corner. I just would like to know what Amazon's reasoning is in not entering this market. I don't know of any argument that would apply to Pakistan that wouldn't apply to India as well.

Luqman

Pakistan and Bangladesh do not strike me as countries where the "average" person has a relatively large amount of spare money. Not saying that they don't, though.

You were in Pakistan. All that I see of it is from the news.

Are the people outside of the (Pakistan and Bangladesh) cities able to spend enough to buy a Kindle?

Even in the rural US areas a farmer can buy a Kindle. (If he doesn't have "10 women and have 250 grandchildren".)

Like me, he will think about what else he could use the money on. But Johnny or Judy Appleseed can do it with just a little savings in a week to a month, or two if needed.

A better way to say it is "what is the cost as a percentage of income for all nations?"

Is it easier for a farmer in Germany to buy a Kindle than a Pakistani?
Is it easier for a farmer in Italy to buy a Kindle than in India?
Is it easier for a farmer in Dubai to buy a Kindle than a Bangladesh?

Relative Per Capita Income Rates will make a difference.

It may have nothing to do with religion.

Economically, the farmer in Bangladesh may have more in common with the farmer in the Appalachian mountains. Just plain dirt poor.

vaughnmr
03-15-2010, 08:52 PM
(without trying to presume Amazon's intent) it may that they just can't really SELL the hardware or books in those regions. Either or both. Maybe rampant piracy, or stringent government restrictions, censorship, who knows. What about the legal implications of selling the Kindle in those countries. It hasn't really been that long since the Kindle and Amazon books have been available outside USA, has it? Maybe they just need to ramp up!

HansTWN
03-16-2010, 01:05 AM
yes of course, many of these countries have ebook readers. plus, many people writing here suffer from a seriously flawed perception of Muslim countries. They associate them too much with Taliban. It would be the same thing if Muslims take February 2010 issue of National Geographic and conclude from the story that all Americans marry 10 women and have 250 grandchildren.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/polygamists/anderson-text
Many of the countries left out have good infrastructure and liberal economic systems. think of Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain in the Arab world, Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Central Asian republics, etc. Can you put them in the same category of countries with Myanmar where kindle can be ordered and ebooks downloaded.
Now looking at the map of kindle availability, I am puzzled to see that there is a strong correlation between no-kindle and Muslim majority. I want to understand this and know if amazon attempted to include those countries in the Muslim world but they did not want it.
I received a response from amazon customer service, which basically stated that they forwarded my response to kindle department.

No, I am not thinking of the Taliban, :smack:. I am thinking of even a relatively liberal country like Malaysia, where they just had a court decide that Christian newspapers cannot use the word Allah. And of Dubai where 2 people got locked up for kissing in public. The list is endless. Yes, there a a lot of rather liberal people in Muslim countries. But think of all the sex and politics in Western books. You really want to tell me that this would be welcomed by majorities in most Muslim countries? What if there was another picture of a religious figure in the books? A joke that would offend Muslims? I really think the only exception they could make without a major revamp of their offerings just for those markets are Jordan and Indonesia at this time. Even bankers have special offerings for Muslim countries, after all.

And what is more sensitive than culture, reading?

m-reader
03-16-2010, 01:39 AM
I have just noticed this while browsing through the countries that Kindle is shipped and Kindle ebooks can be downloaded. Many of the countries such as Canada that are listed here as non-available can received Kindles. However, the situation with Muslim countries other than Albania and Bosnia still hold.

Where do you get your information from?
Last time I checked Bosnia was 40-ish % Bosniac (Muslim), the rest is split between Serb (Orthodox Christian) and Croat (Catholic Christian) population.
This hardly makes Bosnia-Herzegovina a Muslim country, does it?
Another thing - I don't buy this conspiracy theory excrement. Amazon would sell to the whole world if they could. The deal with e-books and Amazon (as it has been discussed ad nauseam on this forum) is the geographic copyright restrictions AND lack of deals with telcos in perspective countries (for Kindle wireless).

I don't know where you get your information from but you may want to re-check.

m-reader
03-16-2010, 01:45 AM
No, I am not thinking of the Taliban, :smack:. I am thinking of even a relatively liberal country like Malaysia, where they just had a court decide that Christian newspapers cannot use the word Allah. And of Dubai where 2 people got locked up for kissing in public. The list is endless. Yes, there a a lot of rather liberal people in Muslim countries. But think of all the sex and politics in Western books. You really want to tell me that this would be welcomed by majorities in most Muslim countries? What if there was another picture of a religious figure in the books? A joke that would offend Muslims? I really think the only exception they could make without a major revamp of their offerings just for those markets are Jordan and Indonesia at this time. Even bankers have special offerings for Muslim countries, after all.

And what is more sensitive than culture, reading?

Hans you are reading too much into it. Things like mainstream media are widely accessible and used in Muslim countries. Information is available and accessed, believe you me.
Should this be the case, then the whole internet would be blocked in most of these countries. Granted, filters are there, but that's different (probably not worse than in China).
These countries are different, but trust me (I'm talking from personal experience here) these people have no issues with mainstream banking, media, books, etc. Let me give you an example - traditional western banking is heavily used in Saudi Arabia - in addition to Islamic banking.

Things are not always as simple as they are portraied in the media.

m-reader
03-16-2010, 01:48 AM
As a coincidence, here's a blurb from an UAE paper (http://gulfnews.com/business/technology/john-grisham-releases-the-firm-22-other-titles-as-e-books-1.598407) this morning about e-books:




New York: More than a year after reports emerged that John Grisham would make his books available in electronic format, his publisher made it official on Tuesday, announcing that all 23 of his works can be purchased as e-texts.

"John Grisham is one of the greatest storytellers of all time," Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor-in-chief of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, said in a statement.

"This is one of our most exciting e-book initiatives to date and is certain to usher in a new generation of Grisham readers and e-book adopters," Mehta said.

Grisham, the author of such favourites as The Firm and The Pelican Brief, has expressed mixed feelings about e-books and the quickly growing market, currently estimated at around 3 per cent to 5 per cent of total sales.

In an interview with the Today show last fall, he worried that if e-books really caught on "then you're going to wipe out tons of bookstores and publishers and we're going to buy it all online."

"I'm probably going to be all right," he said, "but the aspiring writers are going to have a very hard time getting published." Knopf Doubleday is a division of Random House Inc.

kindlekitten
03-16-2010, 02:03 AM
why don't y'all let Amazon give an official answer instead of mudslinging?

K-Thom
03-16-2010, 12:29 PM
why don't y'all let Amazon give an official answer instead of mudslinging?

More fun that way. ;):D

kindlekitten
03-16-2010, 01:22 PM
yeah, a lot like pig wrasslin'. everyone gets dirty and only the pig has fun

MattP
03-16-2010, 01:56 PM
yes, you are right about the markets. however, Pakistan and Bangladesh would still have a huge number of people with enormous wealth, literate in English. the rich in those countries would outnumber many rich but small countries.
However, if you have kindle availability in a number of small and poor countries you would wonder why poor but large countries are not included. Pakistan and Bangladesh are English-speaking countries, so they would have many ready customers for English books. You also have many Arabic speaking countries where English is readily accessible.




Pakistan and Bangladesh do not strike me as countries where the "average" person has a relatively large amount of spare money. Not saying that they don't, though.

You were in Pakistan. All that I see of it is from the news.

Are the people outside of the (Pakistan and Bangladesh) cities able to spend enough to buy a Kindle?

Even in the rural US areas a farmer can buy a Kindle. (If he doesn't have "10 women and have 250 grandchildren".)

Like me, he will think about what else he could use the money on. But Johnny or Judy Appleseed can do it with just a little savings in a week to a month, or two if needed.

A better way to say it is "what is the cost as a percentage of income for all nations?"

Is it easier for a farmer in Germany to buy a Kindle than a Pakistani?
Is it easier for a farmer in Italy to buy a Kindle than in India?
Is it easier for a farmer in Dubai to buy a Kindle than a Bangladesh?

Relative Per Capita Income Rates will make a difference.

It may have nothing to do with religion.

Economically, the farmer in Bangladesh may have more in common with the farmer in the Appalachian mountains. Just plain dirt poor.

MattP
03-16-2010, 01:58 PM
why don't y'all let Amazon give an official answer instead of mudslinging?
I sent a query to Amazon but did not receive an answer other than that they forwarded my email to Kindle department.

mgmueller
03-16-2010, 02:54 PM
I have no prejudice against Monegasques ... I married one.

Is this valid proof?:)

luqmaninbmore
03-16-2010, 03:29 PM
cover images are everywhere in bookstores and newsstands. in many of them, cover images of magazines are much more liberal than the ones in the United States.

representational art in Islam while traditionally discouraged still took place several hundred years ago in the form of miniatures.

an example for a miniature from Iran:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saki_-_Reza_Abbasi_-_Moraqqa%E2%80%99-e_Golshan_1609_Golestan_Palace.jpg

an example from the Ottoman Empire:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Murat_IV_with_dishes.jpg

To be fair, these examples are not necessarily representative of: a.) the view of the average Muslim or b.) the stand point of the fuquhaa', or Muslim Jurisprudents who codify Islamic law. That being said, while representational covers may indeed be a factor for the Gulf countries, I don't see it being an issue in Turkey, North Africa, or South Asia. I know from personal experience that bookstores in Pakistan carry books with representational covers. As a matter of fact, there are sub-genres of Urdu pulps which can have rather racy, James Bond-esque covers. Jasusi Digest comes to mind as an example.

Luqman

luqmaninbmore
03-16-2010, 03:36 PM
Pakistan and Bangladesh do not strike me as countries where the "average" person has a relatively large amount of spare money. Not saying that they don't, though.

You were in Pakistan. All that I see of it is from the news.

Are the people outside of the (Pakistan and Bangladesh) cities able to spend enough to buy a Kindle?

Even in the rural US areas a farmer can buy a Kindle. (If he doesn't have "10 women and have 250 grandchildren".)

Like me, he will think about what else he could use the money on. But Johnny or Judy Appleseed can do it with just a little savings in a week to a month, or two if needed.

A better way to say it is "what is the cost as a percentage of income for all nations?"

Is it easier for a farmer in Germany to buy a Kindle than a Pakistani?
Is it easier for a farmer in Italy to buy a Kindle than in India?
Is it easier for a farmer in Dubai to buy a Kindle than a Bangladesh?

Relative Per Capita Income Rates will make a difference.

It may have nothing to do with religion.

Economically, the farmer in Bangladesh may have more in common with the farmer in the Appalachian mountains. Just plain dirt poor.


I take your point (although agriculture in Dubai is something of a joke from what my wife tells me), but there is a strong middle class of businessmen and civil servants in Pakistan who are very education minded, English-literate, and would find a Kindle appealing (there is a stereotype of Desi men being gadgetohaulics). The case, again, is similar to that of India (there also being many call centers in Karachi). Pakistan is a much more viable market than Nepal or Bhutan in my opinion. There are also several African countries with Kindle access which I think would be less viable markets than Pakistan (and, it goes without saying, wealthy countries like UAE).

Luqman

luqmaninbmore
03-16-2010, 03:43 PM
No, I am not thinking of the Taliban, :smack:. I am thinking of even a relatively liberal country like Malaysia, where they just had a court decide that Christian newspapers cannot use the word Allah. And of Dubai where 2 people got locked up for kissing in public. The list is endless. Yes, there a a lot of rather liberal people in Muslim countries. But think of all the sex and politics in Western books. You really want to tell me that this would be welcomed by majorities in most Muslim countries? What if there was another picture of a religious figure in the books? A joke that would offend Muslims? I really think the only exception they could make without a major revamp of their offerings just for those markets are Jordan and Indonesia at this time. Even bankers have special offerings for Muslim countries, after all.

And what is more sensitive than culture, reading?

Bankers have special offerings for Muslim countries because the economic system of Islam is different than the laissez faire capitalism of the west.
That being said, there are a large variety of books for sale in the bookstores of Pakistan, complete with some racy covers (although these tend to be drawn rather than photographed). Given that people are able to operate bookstores without hindrance, I don't think people buying books on the Kindle device or on their computer would be an issue. Most of the fervor you mention is directed against DVD stores, but even this is primarily found out in the frontier, not in the major urban centers like Lahore.

Luqman

HansTWN
03-17-2010, 12:02 AM
Bankers have special offerings for Muslim countries because the economic system of Islam is different than the laissez faire capitalism of the west.
That being said, there are a large variety of books for sale in the bookstores of Pakistan, complete with some racy covers (although these tend to be drawn rather than photographed). Given that people are able to operate bookstores without hindrance, I don't think people buying books on the Kindle device or on their computer would be an issue. Most of the fervor you mention is directed against DVD stores, but even this is primarily found out in the frontier, not in the major urban centers like Lahore.

Luqman

From what I have read about these financial service offerings the difference mostly lies in the kind of investments offered, which are based on religious values. Meaning, for example, Playboy and pork producers are out (no matter how much money they can make).

I see your point regarding magazines on the street. But there authorities have easy control. They can take action any time they think someone has overstepped the boundaries. How do you control ebooks? That is why I believe everybody will be happy with the current system. People from muslim countries can easily find a way to buy Amazon ebooks and the Kindle. But everything remains a little hush hush instead of it being a bold announcement that would bring on a lot of unnecessary problems.

Patricia
03-17-2010, 12:12 AM
From what I have read about these financial service offerings the difference mostly lies in the kind of investments offered, which are based on religious values. Meaning, for example, Playboy and pork producers are out (no matter how much money they can make).


There's a lot more to it, actually. Islam strictly prohibits usury. So an observant muslim can't lend or receive interest payments. So there are now various Islamic financial instruments available, which allow believers to comply with Sharia law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_banking

Incidentally, it's not clear how far the Judeo-Christian scriptures actually allow usury:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usury
http://www.tentmaker.org/lists/UsuryScriptureList.html

HansTWN
03-17-2010, 12:58 AM
There's a lot more to it, actually. Islam strictly prohibits usury. So an observant muslim can't lend or receive interest payments. So there are now various Islamic financial instruments available, which allow believers to comply with Sharia law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_banking

Incidentally, it's not clear how far the Judeo-Christian scriptures actually allow usury:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usury
http://www.tentmaker.org/lists/UsuryScriptureList.html

That was the same way in Europe in the Middle Ages, Christians could not receive interest payments.

But your comments on banking actually supports my main point. Most of the ebooks on offer are not deemed suitable for Muslim values. Which probably is why Amazon does not offer them "officially".

zaidshaban
03-17-2010, 02:20 AM
hello guys,

iam a muslim and working in United arab emirates (Dubai) i checked my self with them before i got my sony ereader, and they respectfully replied to my email that its all about the AT&T service and there is something about the library download and also the online newspapers services as its not available for the connection we have here, and finally and what the think is the most important is the warranty as they said that the dont have a middle east representative and this will cost both amazon and the end user a lot if anything happened to the device.

cheers guys

zaidshaban
03-17-2010, 02:28 AM
HansTWN - i think you have a wrong idea and info about the arab world, and this is not the islam world we are talking about Middle east is arab world, and we have people from both religions islam or christian god bless them both, maaan we read, party, movie and we deal with banks :-) and you are talking about a few people who is religioned from both parties who would not take an finance or intrest on finance, we are more than 250 million and we do every thing ;-)

HansTWN
03-17-2010, 02:41 AM
HansTWN - i think you have a wrong idea and info about the arab world, and this is not the islam world we are talking about Middle east is arab world, and we have people from both religions islam or christian god bless them both, maaan we read, party, movie and we deal with banks :-) and you are talking about a few people who is religioned from both parties who would not take an finance or intrest on finance, we are more than 250 million and we do every thing ;-)

Actually, muslims in Indonesia, Malaysia, and India far outnumber you! And Iran, Turkey, and the countries in Central Asia are not Arabs. ;) I was talking about governments and certain sections of society that do try to influence what the rest is supposed to be doing. Just like the radical Christians in the US which have made sure that network TV, beach wear, famous personalities behavior and other things are strictly controlled. And something so harmless as "baywatch" is considered racy. :eek: I was not suggesting that this is restricted to Muslims. But in general religion has a much greater influence in the Muslim world than for Christians and Buddhists. You will agree with me on that (in Europe probably 90% of the people go to church not more than once a year -- on Christmas, if then). I have been to Egypt, Jordan, Tunesia, and Algeria. I am not quite the "babe in the woods" you imagine me to be. Well, give it to me straight, what percentage of Muslims would find "Lady Chatterly's lover" acceptable? What do you think? Wouldn't they have to cut out a significant portion of their offerings?

I was just suggesting that it also maybe actually a matter of Amazon's cultural sensitivity that they opt not to sell. I don't see this as a criticism of the Muslim world, to each his own. If the AT&T argument was the only problem, why don't they sell in Singapore? Government's attitudes will definitely play a big role. And the question of why they have no agent in the Middle East still remains, there is a reason they decided not to. Which comes back to our original discussion.

zaidshaban
03-17-2010, 08:18 AM
HansTWN - yes i agree with you my friend but even in the countries (not iran) you have mentioned they have also an open minded people along with the other people ;-) any way i agree with you for sure specially (why don't they sell in Singapore? Government's attitudes will definitely play a big role. And the question of why they have no agent in the Middle East still remains, there is a reason they decided not to. Which comes back to our original discussion) and by the way i didnt mean be my last msg that you are criticies islam i thought (Maybe) you dont know our area so i would clear some things for you,
am originally from jordan and most of the censored books in the world you will defnetly find in jordan ;-)

final word, i respect your openion 100% am sorry if you got me wrong i didnt mean any thing, and as for Lady Chatterly's lover (am talking about my country ofcourse) if you are above 18 no one will interfer or even ask about your reading,

cheers my friend and sorry again

luqmaninbmore
03-17-2010, 09:48 AM
From what I have read about these financial service offerings the difference mostly lies in the kind of investments offered, which are based on religious values. Meaning, for example, Playboy and pork producers are out (no matter how much money they can make).

I see your point regarding magazines on the street. But there authorities have easy control. They can take action any time they think someone has overstepped the boundaries. How do you control ebooks? That is why I believe everybody will be happy with the current system. People from muslim countries can easily find a way to buy Amazon ebooks and the Kindle. But everything remains a little hush hush instead of it being a bold announcement that would bring on a lot of unnecessary problems.

You are correct in that Muslims are forbidden to invest in certain types of businesses such as the ones that you mention. The incompatability goes deeper than this, however. Islam prohibits "riba" or interest on loans as well as the buying and selling of debt. For this reason, modern finance capitalism is incompatible with the Islamic economic system on a fundamental level. Obviously, this does not prevent individual Muslims and Muslim countries from ignoring these prohibitions, just as the Catholic Church ignored its centuries old prohibition on usury. While I have no doubt that there a Muslim governments that seek this level of control over their populations, from the point of view of the Islamic Shariah, what goes on in the home and does not spill out into public is not the concern of the state. This was established during the early period of Islam. The problem is not one of religion per se; it's more governments with over-wheening authority using shallow interpretations of religion as a pretext to extend their control over civil life.

Luqman

kindlekitten
03-17-2010, 10:34 AM
and there ya' go. the infrastructure won't support it. enough with the Amazon bashing

gastan
03-17-2010, 10:36 AM
I will step in and ask, politely, that discussions of religion, race, and creed be limited and preferably not carried out in MobileRead.
pshrynk (moderator)

I have no idea why this thread was resurrected but IMHO it should have stayed dead. It is seriously off topic. If you want to discuss the fine points of religious philosophy -- any religion -- I suggest you do it off-line or on a religion specific forum.

Zipr
03-17-2010, 10:41 AM
Turkey is in Europe,
Only one corner of one city (Istanbul). The bulk of Turkey is in Asia. The Bosphorus divides Istanbul between 2 continents.

MattP
03-17-2010, 03:58 PM
your point is irrelevant to this discussion.
matter of fact, Turkey is in Europe or not is not my problem. However, Turkish teams play with European competitions, Turkey qualifies to enter World Cup from the European division, Turkey is a candidate for EU membership -regardless of the fate of the process, member of the European Common Market, Turkey has a common history with Europe, having once known as the sick man of Europe. Turkey has other cities in physical Europe, not only half of Istanbul.
Now a Japanese can oppose to your point that Turkey is actually in Asia by referring to all of these facts. Does Turkey have more in common with Europe or with Asia?
so what's your point?
Now I will tell you one thing: if Turkey was not populated by Turks, the land of Anatolia would be accepted as Europe without any question. What makes Europe is not geography; it is a cultural concept.
So next time with your ebook, why don't you download some books on cultural imagination of Europe and read.



Only one corner of one city (Istanbul). The bulk of Turkey is in Asia. The Bosphorus divides Istanbul between 2 continents.

MattP
03-17-2010, 04:07 PM
if you are disturbed with this discussion, you simply don't read it. who forces you to read these messages. I have a valid, justified observation about consistent kindle unavailability in Muslim countries across different regions. I simply raised this question here. Let amazon give its own answer, you don't have to be their unpaid spokesperson.

and there ya' go. the infrastructure won't support it. enough with the Amazon bashing

MattP
03-17-2010, 04:11 PM
HansTWN - yes i agree with you my friend but even in the countries (not iran) you have mentioned they have also an open minded people along with the other people ;-) any way i agree with you for sure specially (why don't they sell in Singapore? Government's attitudes will definitely play a big role. And the question of why they have no agent in the Middle East still remains, there is a reason they decided not to. Which comes back to our original discussion) and by the way i didnt mean be my last msg that you are criticies islam i thought (Maybe) you dont know our area so i would clear some things for you,
am originally from jordan and most of the censored books in the world you will defnetly find in jordan ;-)

final word, i respect your openion 100% am sorry if you got me wrong i didnt mean any thing, and as for Lady Chatterly's lover (am talking about my country ofcourse) if you are above 18 no one will interfer or even ask about your reading,

cheers my friend and sorry again
no customer service in the Middle East? how about Malaysia and Indonesia that are not in the Middle East. how about Israel that can download e-books to their pc. I think there are two level unavailability:
1. kindle.
2. kindle books. Israel and S. Korea can download books but cannot be shipped kindles.

Zipr
03-17-2010, 04:28 PM
your point is irrelevant to this discussion.
matter of fact, Turkey is in Europe or not is not my problem.

...

So next time with your ebook, why don't you download some books on cultural imagination of Europe and read.

Wow, get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning? 3 angry posts in a row!

kindlekitten
03-17-2010, 04:30 PM
if you are disturbed with this discussion, you simply don't read it. who forces you to read these messages. I have a valid, justified observation about consistent kindle unavailability in Muslim countries across different regions. I simply raised this question here. Let amazon give its own answer, you don't have to be their unpaid spokesperson.

this discussion doesn't bother me at all. disinformation however pisses me right the f*ck off. we now have secure knowledge that the infrastructure will not support whispernet in some of these countries and it has nothing to do with policies at Amazon. truth hurts 'eh?

pshrynk
03-17-2010, 04:45 PM
The original question has been answered, so I am closing this thread.

pshrynk (moderator)